By Andy Marquis
MANASSAS, Va. (Dec. 10, 2009) - Southern Maryland's Kyle Hall is moving up the ranks of short track racing. At only 18 years-old, Kyle Hall already has late model stock car wins at Old Dominion Speedway and the now defunct Southern National Raceway Park. That's just his weekend life. During the week, Kyle is also a college student at UNC-Charlotte.
"I can't handle my grades as much as I want to; they take a backseat to racing," Kyle said of balancing life on and off the track. "Schoolwork, it's hard to balance the two. I'm used to it now since I've been doing this since I was 7. It does affect my social life, I have a lot of friends but I can't hang out with them as much as I used to."
Kyle, who graduated from Ryken High School in 2009, began racing go-karts at King George Speedway at 7-years-old. At age 12, he moved up to racing legends cars at Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas, Virginia. He was successful, winning races at Langley Speedway and other area tracks, which prompted the move from Legends to the bigger, heavier late model stock cars when he was 16.
In 2007, Kyle won 3 late model races and Rookie of the Year honors at Old Dominon Speedway in the late model ranks. After finding success at ODS, the Hall family started racing at the high-banked Southern National Raceway Park in Kenly, North Carolina. They also competed at Martinsville and Orange County Speedway, among others.
In 2009, Kyle Hall returned to Old Dominion Speedway after Southern National Raceway Park closed. After running a few races there, the team decided to race at Motor Mile in Radford, Virginia.
While Kyle Hall does have natural talent, driving a late model stock car is no easy task, and it takes a lot of practice.
"You're constantly on the edge of either wrecking the car or spinning out," Kyle said about racing late model stock cars. "Everything happens so fast and you've really got to have fast reflexes. The sense of speed and knowing you're in contention to win makes it feel really good. Think about running 100 mph in your car and making a sharp left turn."
Kyle Hall's team is run by his dad, David. "This is a family run team - dad, godfather and brother. Herman does a lot of stuff for us," Kyle said.
Kyle's racing idol growing up was Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt's style is seen in the young Kyle Hall. While he generally races clean, he's not afraid to use a little bumper in the closing laps to win a race.
Kyle said his favorite moment was beating well-known late model racer Matt McCall at Southern National Raceway Park with a pass on the outside in the closing laps. Kyle has eight career late model stock car wins to his credit, including five wins at Southern National Raceway Park in 2008 alone.
In 2010, Kyle Hall will continue racing at Motor Mile Speedway. If Southern National Raceway Park reopens, the team will also attempt to run a few races there.