Legendary motorsports broadcaster Ken Squier once said that short track racers are “ordinary men doing extraordinary things.” Washington racer Jeff Knight is an ordinary man, but what he does on and off the race track is extraordinary.
Knight, a local racer at Washington’s Evergreen Speedway, spends his time away from the race track working as a Pastor at The Rock Church in Monroe, WA. Leading into the track’s biggest event of the year, the Summer Showdown on July 22, he will be “praying” for the biggest victory of his racing career.
Knight’s love for the ministry and racing branched from his father.
“My dad was a motocross racer so before he ever had a relationship with Jesus he was a racer, so I learned to count to one-hundred and I learned by A-B-C’s at a race track,” Knight told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I always tell people he taught me how to race before he taught me how to pray. When he went into the ministry, racing kind of went out of our lives but I have always had the racing bug for a long time.”
It wasn’t until almost two decades later that the chance to reconnect with the world of motorsports approached Knight.
“A childhood friend reached out to me about 18 years later and asked me to get involved in his race team and I jumped at the opportunity and the rest they say is history.”
Fast forward to the present day and Knight is setting himself up in a good position to contend for the Summer Showdown win this season having already captured wins at Evergreen Speedway.
“So far we’ve gotten three wins in a row on the 3/8-mile track and we have been on the podium seven of eight races this season,” he stated.
Knight contributes some of his success to the addition of his new Fury Race Car to his stable and is thankful for the help he has received from the chassis manufacturer so far this season.
“Jeff (Fultz) and Tony (Eury, Jr.) both are industry legends almost in the racing and the Late Model world and the relationship and partnership is really good. We get a ton of support and it translates into our performance on the track.”
Last season Knight came up just a few positions short of the win at the Summer Showdown as his team came home with a third-place finish.
“Last year we were third at the Showdown and if not for that red flag late in the race I really felt like we had the car to win,” Knight explained. “There was a long red flag with like 30 to go and we had just grabbed second and was setting ourselves up for the lead and just missed a little on the last restart. “
With wins under his belt so far this season, a new race car, the backing of Fury Race Cars and the confidence of running up front last year, Knight and his team have set high expectations for this year’s Summer Showdown at Evergreen Speedway.
“With our third last year and as good as the car is this year, we have the expectations of everyone else and we are going to win this thing.”
The 6th Annual Summer Showdown at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington is slated for July 20-22 where drivers from all over the west will battle it out on the 5/8-mile paved oval for a $25,000 winner’s check.
Story by: Hannah Newhouse, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent