Tibbitts racing at 13

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Charles Tibbitts won’t be getting his drivers license for three more years, but that hasn’t stopped him from racing competitively at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.

“A lot of my people my age don’t do this,” Tibbitts, 13, said.  “The fact that I get out there and race somewhat competitively is good.”

Racing however, isn’t new to Tibbitts.  He started at the age of five with go karts, and by the time he was eight, his father Chuck began noticing something.

“We started traveling a lot and running in some very competitive series races in the go karts,” Chuck Tibbitts said.  “We started winning and I think like any kid, when you find some success you really like it and you want it to keep going.”

At the age of 12, Tibbitts began racing Sportsman.  While he has yet to win a race, fellow drivers have noticed how much he’s improved.

“When (Tibbitts) started he could barely even get the car qualified,” racer Chris Mackey said.  “Last year we had some incidents.  We actually ended up in a wreck with Charles, but other than that, he’s really come a long way.  Last year I was a little nervous to run around him, but this year he’s really holding his own.  He’s really come a long way as a driver and I think if he keeps progressing he has the ability to do really well in this sport.”

Even though he’s just 13 and has experienced success with multiple top-5 finishes, the racing community has had no issues accepting someone like Charles.  His father has a theory as to why.

“I believe none of them want to be the guy that picks on a little kid,” Chuck Tibbitts said.  “I really believe they go out of their way to be extra nice to him, give him extra help and advice.  They don’t want to be the guy that picks on a little kid.  Everybody likes kids you know.”

Tibbitts has yet to suffer any serious injuries, but his father did admit there are times he’s a nervous wreck in the stands. 

Tibbitts runs routinely at Utica-Rome Speedway and at tracks throughout the northeast.

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