T. J. Reaid may have grown up in Georgia, but he raced quarter-midgets in Nashville many times. Any time there was a Late Model race at the “big track” at the Nashville Fairgrounds when he was in the city he would go with his family to watch. He’d sit in the grandstands and dream about what it would be like to race there and win there.
In 2010 Reaid made his first start at the high-banked Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville in its biggest race, the All American 400. He won.
“I’ve always really liked running there, even back when I first started racing,” Reaid said. “So to go there as a kid and be up in the stands and wonder what it would be like to run a race there, and then run my first race and win, it just meant that much more.”
Reaid was 20 years old when he scored that win and admitted that it took a long time before he finally realized that he was indeed a champion of the All American 400. It almost seemed like a dream to him.
“It doesn’t really set in right away,” he said. “It was like somebody needed to pinch me to wake me up or something.”
Reaid heads back to Nashville this weekend for his fourth start in the All-American and he’s looking to add another win to has stats.
“The races like the All American and the Snowball Derby are definitely races that you want to have on your resume,” Reaid told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “And we’d definitely like to add another All American 400 win to my resume. Hopefully we’ll get through the All American and come out on top and then we can head to the Snowball with some momentum.”
Reaid has been dabbling in dirt Late Model racing and a handful of asphalt starts in 2014, so he went to Nashville recently to test his car and get reacquainted with the race track.
“This is a little different tire than I’ve ever been on,” he said. “That’s why we went out and tested. And we were really happy. I feel like we have our car dialed in to where we need it to be.”
The All American 400 is usually run under the glow of the track’s lights, but this year the race will be run during the day. Reaid said that was another reason why he went and tested.
“That will definitely change the track conditions a little bit more and you’ve got to adjust for all that,” he said. “If we are as good as we were this past weekend then we should be right there in the hunt.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Regional Editor (Long Island, CT and NJ) -Twitter: @RobBlount
-Feature Photo Credit: Speed51.com.