Killingworth’s Monte Gibbs may not be old enough to cruise the streets of town, but the soon-to-be Haddam-Killingworth freshman is right on track with his aspirations since toddlerhood. The 14-year-old local racing legend has already won over 200 races.
“There was a Cruise Night in Westbrook when I saw my first racecar. I saw it, wanted one and got it, and started racing,” he recalls. “I was like three or four, somewhere around there.”
"He has been passionate about it since he was a toddler. He drove his first vehicle at age 14 months old," Monte’s father, and biggest sponsor thus far, Jay Gibbs says. "It was an electric jeep and, though he could barely walk and talk, he figured that thing out in a matter of minutes.”
Today, Gibbs practices at Stafford Motor Speedway and occasionally at Waterford, “though they don’t race the cars I race there,” he explains.
In July, he finished 10th at Stafford Springs in his first race on a NASCAR sanctioned track. Gibbs' early success includes a national title as well as 15 championships as a youth driver.
Gibbs practices every Friday, which is also the day he races.
“This is what I want to do professionally,” he said. But, to do so he knows he needs sponsors.
“I'm hoping to land more sponsors so we can continue racing bigger, faster cars in the future," Gibbs says. "Hopefully there’s some business out there willing to spend advertising money on me. I feel that it would be good for their company and for me.”
Without sponsors, Jay Gibbs says his son's dream of racing professionally may have to take a back seat. “We wouldn't be able to support his racing. This is a very expensive sport.”
The elder Gibbs' business, Valley Shore Masonry Services, is currently one of two sponsors, along with Lighthouse Signs in Westbrook.
The younger Gibbs started racing when he was just four years old, wih little fear. “Yeah, it’s dangerous,” he admits. According to the race car driver, his parents were worried during his first race (he was 4 and a half), “but after a couple I'm sure they were fine."
“Monte eats, drink and sleeps racing," his father says. Gibbs told Patch his only other interest is fishing with his brother on occasion.
For now, the family's focus is taking racing as far as they can.
"We need or could use more companies to step up. It is a great way to support a very hard working kid that is trying to help himself,” Jay Gibbs says.
Any person or company interested in sponsoring Monte Gibbs can reach him through his fanpage on Facebook, Lilmoracing.