Share This Page

Latrobe senior continues climb on Legend circuit

| Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, 8:52 p.m.

The idea of racing a car up to 110 miles per hour around a track — which is usually just a quarter mile — probably wouldn't be appealing to most people.

Throw in the fact that the cars are just 46 inches in height, 60 inches wide and roughly 10 feet long, and you soon discover it takes a special kind of skill.

Latrobe's Justin Bolton has just that talent — and lots of it.

Based on his impressive resume of accomplishments, Bolton should be a widely recognized name in Western Pennsylvania athletics.

After all, he is a Pennsylvania state champion and has finished several national races at or near the top of the standings.

Nevertheless, this area isn't known as racing country. In fact, few are aware of Legend Car racing. But that could change due to Bolton's recent climb up the national rankings.

So far in 2012, the Latrobe High School senior has finished ninth out of 391 semi-pro drivers in the Legend Car Series National Points — including nine trips to victory lane.

Bolton also won Rookie of the Year at the highly competitive Lake Erie Speedway. He finished sixth in overall points out of 48 Legend Car drivers.

While his ultimate goal is to race on the sports highest level — NASCAR — for now Bolton is looking to spend at least one more season in his Legend car. Some of NASCAR's elite racers — Kyle Busch and Joey Logano — are alumni of the Legend circuit.

“Right now, I'm getting ready for the winter heats in mid-December,” he said. “It should be good. It's exciting to start a new season. After this I'd like to try and move up to the late models.”

Bolton's racing career began as many others did — by going to go-cart races.

“It (attending races) sparked my interest,” he said. “And then one time we just said it's time to try it out.”

The experiment turned out to be a very good decision. Bolton spent about five years racing carts and then found Legend to be the logical next step.

“It's been a great experience,” he said. “Legend cars aren't very big, but they have a lot of horsepower in a small car. They are a great way to learn racing.”

In October, Bolton won the prestigious 2012 Race of Champions at the famed Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race field consisted of the top qualifying drivers from across the country.

“A lot of moving up in racing is being in the right place at the right time,” Bolton said. “We're hoping to get some sponsors and continue to the next levels.”

For now, anyway, Bolton has made a habit of finding himself in the right place at the right time on many occasions.

Victory Lane.

Brian Hunger is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.