TOPEKA, KS – Taegan Knowland is just nine years old, but he’s already accomplishing big things in a race car in multiple states across the nation. In the last nine days, he’s picked up a quarter-midget win at the Topeka Quarter Midget Association’s track, and he turned an unforced error into a first and a second in Bandolero competition at the 30th Annual Cook Out Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Knowland has been racing in quarter-midgets, but this year he has branched out into the Bandolero cars, a “spec” car built as an entry level race car by US Legends International in Harrisburg, North Carolina along with it’s bigger brother – the legend car. It hasn’t taken long for the young racer to start figuring out how to get around the ¼-mile inside the NASCAR track. He started the Summer Shootout season off with a nice 11th place finish in the main event in the series’ opening week.
“It’s fun to race in the biggest series for the legend and Bandolero cars,” Knowland said. “I like racing the Bandolero. It’s been fun to race on a bigger track than I usually race on with the quarter-midgets.”
Talking about his first and second place finishes at Charlotte this week, the driver explained the roller coaster evening. “My chain came off in qualifying, so I had to start tail for both round three and round four. But then I was able to win the first of our features and finish second in the other one, so we were all happy at the end!”
Getting the win in the feature took a little bit of thought. “We had a caution at the end of the race. I was thinking in my mind about how I was going to pass the leader to get the win, and what I was thinking about actually worked! I went to the outside, set him up and passed him. I did almost the same thing on Saturday in the Senior Honda class that I won in the quarter-midget. That one was against one of the toughest racers in our club. It’s fun when you can do good and plan a move like that.”
Support for Taegan and his racing comes from a number of different companies, including Qdoba of Topeka/Junction City/Manhattan, Royal Signs, DC Lawn Care, Friends of Jaclyn and Thrivent Financial.
Knowland is hoping to race in the remaining six events of the Summer Shootout this season, but they are taking the Charlotte trips one week at a time. He also has a full slate of quarter-midget races planned for the remainder of the summer as well. For more information about Taegan, visit him on his website at www.taeganknowland.com or on Facebook at Taegan Knowland Racing.