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DOING WHAT HE LOVES
Steve Cole Shows You can Be Successful in a Hobby You Love
Steve Cole was not born into a racing family, and he did not spend much time watching it on television. When asked what led to his interest in racing, he shared, “I just enjoy it.”
Cole started out riding motorcycles and decided to try racing cars. “(I) went to the dirt track and liked it,” he commented. In a career that spans over a decade, Cole has raced a combination of Street Stocks, Modifieds, Late Models, and now Pro (Crate) Late Models.
“I don’t know,” Cole spoke on who has had the biggest influence on his career. Mark Martin, Michael Hall, and Tommy Williams, who owns his race car, play an integral role in him being behind the wheel today. Jason Anderson also plays a key role in keeping the car going week to week.
Cole picked up his first victory in a Modified Feature in 1997. When asked how he felt when he picked up that coveted first win, he shared, “(It was) great. (We) worked so hard to get there… a lot of fun.” He has also picked up both Heat and Feature wins at Paducah International Raceway. Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway, and Mt. Vernon.
Cole went on to reach the pinnacle of success in 2003 when he was the Modified Track Champion at Paducah International Raceway. Another career highlight includes making the Fall National Race at Eldora Speedway in 2003.
Both PIR and Mt. Vernon include tracks that he races regularly. He also runs at Clarksville occasionally. “(We) used to run Haubstadt, Granite City, and Eldora… a bunch of tracks,” Cole added.
2010 marked Cole’s first season back in the driver’s seat following a motorcycle accident where he suffered a broken leg. “(I was) on crutches four months… (The bone) snapped off at the knee,” he spoke of his accident. He still races with a brace on his leg to steady it. “The vibration (of the race car) hurts without the brace,” he added.
Five years down the road, Cole hopes to still be racing. “(I) just came off a two-year break,” he said. When asked about 10 years down the road, he laughed, “No clue… (I’m) too old to think 10 years ahead.”
While Cole’s family may not have initially been into racing, he and his younger brother, Kevin, have made them synonymous with racing. Kevin is a former Modified Track Champion at PIR and the defending Super Late Model Track Champion. They can both be found parked side-by-side in the pits supporting each other on and off the track. Their parents also come to the races. His girlfriend, Keasha, is also in the stands supporting her favorite driver, along with his son, Jason, who is nine-years old. When asked if Jason had been bitten by the racing bug yet, Cole answered, “(He) hasn’t really mentioned it.” He also added that he would support his son’s decision to race should the time come.
Cole, a Christopher, Illinois native, currently drives the #37 Pro (Crate) Late Model sponsored by Ivitts Plumbing, Ellifson’s Elite Colors, and Sellars Automotive. For the 2010 season, he had three Heat wins, six top-five Feature finishes, and 10 total finishes in the Top-10. He finished sixth in Championship points standings.
Steve Cole proves that you do not have to start out a part of a racing family to end up at the center of one. Come to Paducah International Raceway on Friday nights and see him succeeding at something he loves to do.
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