- Date of Birth:
- June 22, 1991
- Alpine, Calif.
- Mooresville, NC
Driver, No. 60, Turn One Racing, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series; driver, No. 84, Red Bull Racing Team, NASCAR Nationwide Series and K&N Pro Series East (2010); second, USAC National Sprint Car (2009); sixth, USAC National Midgets (2009); USAC National Midget champion (2008); fourth, USAC National Sprint Car (2008); 34 top-10 finishes in 60 starts (2007); Hoosier Sprint Car rookie of the year (2006); Red Bull Driver Search semifinalist (2004); eight-time International Karting Federation Grand National champion; two-time World Karting Association Grand National champion.
Red Bull Racing Team - Drivers - Cole Whitt
I Want to Make It in Nascar
Don't let his fiery red hair, boyish looks and diminutive frame fool you. Cole Whitt is every bit the guy capable of handling heavy cars at high speeds.
At only 19 years old, Whitt has been racing — and winning — for more than half his life. On BMX bikes, in karts, sprint cars and midgets. Now he's testing the asphalt ovals of NASCAR. "I want to make it in NASCAR," he said. "That's what I've always looked up to."
Under the guidance of Red Bull Racing Team, Whitt is competing in his rookie season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He drives the No. 60 for Turn One Racing — a two-truck outfit owned by veteran NASCAR driver Stacy Compton.
KARTING TO K&N EAST
Whitt’s best known for his accomplishments in USAC and NASCAR’s developmental K&N Pro Series East, but his story started as a 5-year-old BMX biker in Alpine, Calif. The competitive spirit was established, and the natural progression went to the California karting scene. When he turned 8 years old, Whitt saw a cousin race and asked his father, Tobin, if he could have a kart, too.
Dad obliged, and Whitt went on to win countless races, not to mention eight International Karting Federation and two World Karting Association Grand National championships. In 2004, Whitt took on junior winged sprint cars that progressed into full-size midgets and 410 sprinters.
That same year, a 13-year-old Whitt advanced to the semifinals of the Red Bull Driver Search in Sebring, Fla. Turned out this Cole kid had some talent, because he’s been a Red Bull athlete ever since.
In 2006, Whitt won the Hoosier Sprint Car rookie of the year award. The next year, he bounced between the United States Auto Club and local tracks, earning 34 top-10 finishes in 60 starts. He and his mother, Kim, then left California to start a full-time racing life in Lebanon, Ind.
Whitt broke through in 2008, claiming the USAC National Midget championship to become the youngest USAC champion in the sanctioning body’s 58-year history. He won the prestigious Hut Hundred and finished fourth in the USAC National Sprint Car Series driving for Keith Kunz Motorsports. All totaled: 11 wins in 80-some races. In 2009, he finished second in sprints, sixth in midgets, won two USAC Silver Crown events and earned a combined 17 victories on the national and local levels.
Whitt started out 2010 with USAC’s Super License Award. He won the honor for accumulating the most points across USAC’s three national series — midgets, sprint car and Silver Crown — in the 2009 season. “I like racing so much I have a blast with it,” Whitt said. “I’ve always been in love with it, and the more I can do it, the more I have fun with it.”
FIRST STOCK CAR SEASON
Following the career path that many NASCAR drivers have walked — going from open-wheel cars on dirt to fendered beasts on asphalt — Whitt drove stock cars for the first time in 2010.
In his first start in the No. 84 Red Bull Toyota, Whitt won the pole and finished third in the East series opener at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. He went on to finish fourth in points with two poles, six top fives and seven top 10s in only 10 races.
That success carried over to a late-season introduction to NASCAR’s top ranks. Whitt, again in the No. 84 Red Bull Toyota, debuted in the Nationwide Series in November, putting together impressive weekends back-to-back at Phoenix International Raceway (15th) and Homestead (17th).
In the Truck finale at Homestead, he qualified 10th and finished 28th after an on-track incident ruined what could have been a top-10 day. Whitt established a baseline for communication with crew chief Marcus Richmond, who calls the shots in Whitt rookie season in trucks.
COLE & THE CATS
While his high school friends were back in California doing what teenage boys do — school, sports, chasing girls — Whitt was doing what racers do. He drove cars three or four nights a week.
“You make sacrifices on what you need to do,” he said. “But hopefully it’ll pay off and I’ll reach my dream of being a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. I do get to miss out a little bit on the teenage lifestyle, but I have fun with my friends when I can.”
If it weren’t for racing, Whitt may have pursued a veterinarian career. He’s loved animals for as long as he can remember and supports Lions, Tigers & Bears located in El Cajon, Calif. The group provides a safe haven for unwanted and abused exotic cats.
The little free time Whitt has is spent working on race cars, hanging out with his crew, fishing, boating and camping. He also enjoys playing video games.