Getting Up To Speed With…Patrick Dills
By Ben Deatherage
(Photo Courtesy of Hull Family Photography)
A new face will grace a seat of a Sprint Car at the Cottage Grove Speedway in 2014. His name is Patrick Dills and he is no stranger to racing especially at CGS. Dills, of Cottage Grove, is one of the top names when it comes to Kage Kart racing not just in Oregon but the entire Western United States.
Over the last sixteen years Dills has raked up a total of thirteen driving championships including ten at Cottage Grove, two at the River Arena Speedway in Roseburg, and one at the Salem Indoor Speedway. In addition to his championships he is a former winner of the Oregon Triple Crown (2011) and in 2012 won the inaugural Western Outlaw Kart Championship Series title after competing in events in the states of Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and California. Also in the summer of 2011 Patrick would pick up the big win at Cottage Grove Speedway on Labor Day weekend to win the 2nd Annual CGS Fall Classic.
In 2014 Dills plans to run in a Sprint Car for the entirety of the season. Although not the first time he’s done so, he did race at Coos Bay a couple of times in 2012, it will be the first time he’s ran at “The Grove”. The Kage Kart avenue has produced several top tier names in the last few decades including Kyle Larson, Sean Becker, Danny Horner, Brendan Boyce, and Kyle Miller just to name a few and Dills may join that list given time. We hope you enjoy this piece so without further ado let’s get up to speed with Patrick Dills.
Driver: Patrick Dills
Home Track: Cottage Grove Speedway
Hometown: Cottage Grove, Oregon
Occupation: Paint Production Worker
Years Racing: 16
Classification: Northwest Extreme Sprint Car/360 Sprint Car
Chassis: Hurricane Race Cars
Sponsors: Jerry Dills Trucking, All Seasons Equipment, BC Motorsports
Special Thanks: Brian Crockett, Colin Baker, Jerry Dills (Father), Jacob Farmen (Uncle)
BD: Patrick over this winter you were recognized as one of the top Kage Kart drivers in the country through a media poll. That had to feel pretty good considering all the talent that is out there.
PD: There’s a lot of really good talent out there especially here in Oregon. To be considered one of the best was a big confident booster considering the hundreds of drivers that are out there. Someone told me I got four first place votes. That is pretty incredible that four people thought I was the best guy in the entire country.
BD: You’ve had a very distinguished Kage Kart career. What would you say is the most memorable race or championship you have won?
PD: Probably the first Triple Crown Championship back in 2011 that Len Waterman and Matt Enos put together. That was a pretty cool deal I think it was called the Shut Up And Drive Triple Crown at the time. Another big one was my first 500cc championship at CGS that was pretty special.
BD: Throughout the years you managed to race against Kyle Larson down in Red Bluff. That’s pretty cool to have had a chance to race against him considering you knew him before he was a megastar in NASCAR.
PD: Yeah it’s pretty cool. When we ran the old QRC All Star Tour in the 125cc he lapped me like I was standing still and that’s when I was really good in that class. It kind of showed me how good he really was.
We ran against each other at Red Bluff and Medford quite a bit. It’s cool to have run against him and talk to him since. It really shows what can happen when the right things happen and you have the right people behind you.
BD: People may not remember but your older brother Courtney raced a little bit before you and so did your uncle Jacob Farman. You and Jake started sharing a kart if I remember right?
PD: We got our first Kage Kart from Cory Sands and Jake and I would switch off either during the course of the night or every other race. It got to the point where we both liked racing so much that we got our own cars. Jake raced until 2005 and to have back surgery but since then he’s been by my side as my crew chief.
Yeah my older brother Courtney ran in the Sportsman class for a couple of years. I think that was around 1999 and 2000 if I remember right.
BD: You’ve always ran the #5D. Is that a significant number for you?
PD: Well when we first got our Kart is was originally #75S. At that time there was already a #75 so we dropped the 7 to it just being #5S for about a year. Then we just dropped the “S” and changed it to a “D” because the “S” really didn’t stand for anything special but the “D” did.
BD: Are you excited at all for the coming season?
PD: I’m beyond excited I’ve always wanted to run a Sprint Car. Quite a while ago I got to turn a couple of laps in Mike Crawford’s car when I was 16 at a play day at Cottage Grove but never got a chance to race. A few years back I ran a little at Coos Bay in their Crate Sprints.
All the pieces came together the way I wanted them to. The reason we didn’t do it before because of money and also we’d have to sell all the Kart stuff. I wanted to keep the Kart stuff so I could race it in the winter. This year we still plan on running the Kart but it’s really all up to my dad and what he wants to do.
The Cottage Grove Speedway is set to host a test and tune play day on Saturday April 5th while the first race of the year is planned for the following Saturday on the 12th. Log on to www.cottagegrovespeedway.com for news stories and articles related to the upcoming 2014 campaign.