Fyffe, Ala. (WHNT) Racing fans in Dekalb County know all about J.T. and Sam Seawright. Not only are the two brothers a force to be reckoned with on the track, but they're the youngest racers at Fort Payne Motor Speedway. In some cases, their competition is 20-30 years older. "It is kind of fun when you beat them because they all get mad when they can't outrun me," Sam said before a late June race in Fyffe. At 11 years old, he's the youngest member of the #16 team. His older brother J.T. is just 14.
Racing is a simple concept for J.T. "I just get in there and drive it, I don't worry about everything else." Clearing the mind sounds easy but not when sliding on clay at nearly 100 miles per hour. Neither mom or dad have any racing experience, but both are supportive of the hobby. "You always hear racetracks are just a bunch of rednecks ready to fight,but it's not like that," Leah Seawright says. "It's a great track, everybody knows everybody and they just fit right in."
Their father Ron is the "checkbook" behind the entire #16 race team, funding nearly everything from cars to fire suits. His role is vital, and dad knows not to let them on same track at the same time. "They want to win, they're competitive, I can' hardly let them race together, I'de have two tore up race cars."
The night we followed the Seawrights at Fort Payne Motor Speedway, J.T. took the checked flag in his division. Sam dealt with brake issues all evening and eventually finished third, not bad for a banged up car. Each Seawright has at least two wins on the season and looking for more as the summer continues. From the stands you would never know how old the drivers are, but you always know who wins the race. Sam sums that up nicely.
"I got to smoke the guy beside me, If I don't beat em' it ain't no fun."