Local kindergartner is a national championship go-kart racer
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - One Panama City Beach racer can say he has a checkered past. He’s won three straight races, including a national championship.
Camdon Clay may not be a veteran of the sport, but you wouldn’t know it if you saw him on the track. He has 11 races under his belt, which includes 3 wins, 2 second-place finishes and 4 third-place medals. Oh, did we mention he’s a six-year-old kindergartner who attends Breakfast Point Academy?
“So fun!” says Camdon when asked how much he enjoys racing.
“He hasn’t had much coaching and it’s just been natural for him,” said Chad Clay, Camdon’s father.
Camdon has grown up around racing.
“It’s unbelievable to watch him succeed in it because I’ve done it and I know how hard it is,” said Chad.
In the fall, Camdon won the World Karting Association’s national championship in the Kid Karts five to eight-year-old division.
We asked what he says to himself when he sees that checkered flag and crosses the finish line first.
“I just feel like, I say it’s really good to win a national championship,” said Camdon.
“When you see him enjoying it as much as you see him, and just succeeding as much as he does, it’s just, you can’t stop him,” said Andrea Clay, Camdon’s mother.
No stopping him is right. Camdon has one speed: Fast, and he wants you to know how fast!
We asked Camdon if going 45 m.p.h was too fast and he said no like it was a ridiculous question. When asked if he wanted to go faster, he answered with an enthusiastic yes.
A couple of weeks ago Camdon won a race in Daytona.
“It [watching Camdon race] is a big-time roller coaster,” said Chad. “And that’s probably one of the reasons people come back because it’s such an emotional roller coaster.”
When asked if he was scared racing, Camdon didn’t hesitate to say no.
Mom and dad know the sport has risks. They say, though, Camdon is protected from head to toe.
“Football is just as dangerous,” said Chad.
And at six-years-old Camdon knows what he wants to be when he grows up, and don’t even try to throttle his ambition.
“Race NASCAR,” said Camdon. We asked NASCAR over Indy car? “I probably want to do both,” said Camdon.
“I did a little bit of racing and nothing, nothing compared to watching him succeed and have fun,” said Chad.
“He’s just enjoying every minute of it. So it’s, it’s so great,” said Andrea.
The sport is not cheap, though. Chad and Andrea admit they need help from family to pay Camdon’s way.
“I mean if somebody wanted to tell me they’re going to pay for his whole season, his go-kart will look like their product the whole year,” said Chad.
Chad says travel alone costs about $25,000 a year.
“We laugh at the stick and ball parents that say ‘my goodness, how expensive our sport is,” said Chad.
But it’s no laughing matter for Camdon. He has a one-track mind, no pun intended.
“I want to win!” said Camdon.
Chad says he wants to move Camdon up a class after this year where the karts can reach 60 to 65 m.p.h.
Here’s a link to Camdon’s Facebook page.
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