Adjust story text size:
Kaylee Esgar, Beulah, first drove a race car when she was five years old. Now a life time later at the ripe old age of nine, Esgar is the Senior Quarter Midget Association national champion. She claimed the title in Portland, Oregon. To claim the title Esgar had to compete against drivers as old as 15 years of age. In fact she was the youngest one in the field.
Esgar comes by her driving skills honestly. Her father Brandon also raced quarter midgets and he and wife Shelly got daughter Kaylee and son Cole (age 6) on the track at age 5. Brandon’s family has been in Pueblo for five generations and moved to Beulah five years ago. His family had a cabin in Beulah when he was growing up and he always wanted to live there.
Shelly is no stranger to Rye and Colorado City. She taught at both Craver Middle School and Rye High School before she became a stay at home mom and a race fan. “I was just shaking and I had a surge of adrenalin,” said mom, about her daughter’s victory. “It was amazing to see her do that.”
In addition to winning the main event in a field of 11 drivers she finished fourth in the Senior Stock and ninth in the light 160. Over 338 cars competed at the Western Grand Nationals.
Esgar normally races on her home track in Pueblo, but also races in Colorado Springs and Denver. She has traveled to races in Waterford, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio (indoor during the winter) and of course Portland. The season normally lasts from early April, depending on the weather, until the end of October.
Quarter midgets are similar in size to a go kart but with much more safety equipment.
Don’t think Kaylee spends all of her time on the track. She is a second degree brown belt in Karate, and active in Girl Scouts. She will be in the fourth grade in Beulah in a few days. She, her parents, and her brother live off 3R road near Beulah.
Although Kaylee has no racing heroes she has a great deal of admiration for 22-year-old Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer who lost an arm and continues to surf. Hamilton is featured in the movie, “Soul Surfer.”
“I just love racing, it is a lot of fun,” said Kaylee, who at four foot two casts a big shadow on the 1/20th mile midget race track – and the winner’s stand.