GET TO KNOW: TANNER CARRICK, A CALIFORNIA COLT IN KEITH KUNZ’ STABLE
At just 16 years old, Tanner Carrick is quickly making the most of his opportunity for Keith Kunz Motorsports racing on the national midget car circuit in USAC and POWRi.
After a debut year that saw Carrick win the USAC Midget National Championship Rookie of the Year award, the California native is competing across both national midget car racing series in 2018, ranking sixth (POWRi) and 12th (USAC) in points.
@Carrick_Tanner has been racing since the age of six when he started in go-karts and began competing at Cycleland Speedway, located just over an hour north of Sacramento, with his father as his crew chief. In 2009 and 2010, he took track honors for Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Driver in the Box Stock class before taking the class title in 2012. He then moved up to Outlaw Karts and won track championship at Cycleland (2014, 2016) and Red Bluff Outlaws track (2015-16) before being named USAC’s Rookie of the Year.
Prior to joining Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM), Carrick was preparing to take his family’s racing operation to the next level when he was contacted by Kunz, who runs one of the premiere teams in midget dirt racing backed by Toyota. e strongest teams in dirt midget car racing history.
“All of this basically happened because of a phone call I got from Keith, basically two days after we had bought all of our sprint car stuff to run as a family in California,” Tanner told SPEED SPORT in a March interview. “He asked about me driving for them … and that’s the opportunity of a lifetime. When you get a call like that, it’s just an unbelievable feeling and that’s a particular moment in my racing career that I’ll never forget.
“… I got the chance to go to the Chili Bowl with them and hang out with all the guys … it’s great and they’re just an awesome group,” Tanner continued with SPEED SPORT. “You really can’t ask for better than to be associated with Keith and Pete (Willoughby), as well as Jack Irving and all the Toyota guys. When you drive for KKM, you know it’s a special place and you really appreciate all they’ve done. It’s super special to be part of.”
Carrick is competing full time in USAC, where he ranks 12th in points, while also running select POWRi events. After entering 10-of-13 POWRi events this year, Carrick is sixth in the standings entering a Saturday, June 30th race at Macon Speedway in Illinois.
Earlier this month, Carrick finished second and nearly won the title for Illinois SPEED Week, a prestigious weeklong event with five scheduled POWRi dirt midget races. With two rain outs, the California driver finished runner-up after finishes of second place, sixth and seventh. With Carrick in second, Toyota-powered KKM drivers swept the podium for SPEED Week, as Logan Seavey claimed the title and Ryan Robinson finished third in points.
In May, the young racer dominated the POWRi event at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri, to collect his first national midget car feature victory.
When Carrick isn’t competing for Kunz in POWRi and USAC, the young driver also competes in sprint cars and Outlaw Karts.