When Wellesley Middle Schooler Blake Lothian drives his custom-built go-kart in next month’s 49th annual Wellesley Veterans’ Parade, the 14-year-old will need to do all he can to slow himself down.
In among the old-timey cars and assorted town vehicles will be Lothian’s sweet ride, which has been adjusted to hit speeds of up to 70mph for the NHKA Racing series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Canaan Motor Speedway in which Lothian is racing vs. adults for the first time.
Lothian has been racing go-karts since the age of 5 and earlier this month he swept the F1 Boston Junior League Championship in Braintree, taking the checkered flag in the finals and earning a second gold trophy for racking up the most points for the winter season. He also pulled off a win in his first senior league race this past weekend in New Hampshire.
Lothian has been racing in F1 Boston Indoor and Outdoor Leagues for the past few years, and winning plenty. But he really took things up a notch last year by saving money (and soliciting Wellesley business sponsors) to buy a high-performance go-kart that he customized with the help of mechanics at CF Motorsports after school and on weekends.
His #1 Briggs and Stratton LO206 kart withstood track temperatures of well over 100 degrees last summer as well as held its own during torrential rain over Columbus Day weekend. For a kid with ambitions to hit the NASCAR circuit some day, learning to deal with all sorts of conditions has been a valuable lesson.
You can get a more of a look at Lothian’s car, stats and back story at his Blake Lothian Racing website, and come Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend, his car will be not just in the parade, but at the annual car show at Wellesley Community Center and at Hunnewell Field for the pre-fireworks picnic. Blake’s mom, Cindy, says she hopes the exposure will encourage more local kids to get involved in junior racing.