During the spring, Chester “Buddy” Kniss won his first main event race at the Antioch Speedway.
Now with the season several weeks old, Kniss, who recently graduated from Freedom High School, is in first place in the A Modified Division.
Kniss has enjoyed the way his season has gone. This is his second year racing A Modifieds, or A Mods, which he attributes much of the success to.
“I’m thinking it’s going pretty good so far. We’re leading the points for Antioch. We’ve just had a bunch of really consistent finishes,” he said. “I’m really getting a feel of the car and the track conditions; I’m getting familiar with things.”
Kniss’ success this season comes on the heels of a very strong offseason. In November, Kniss won the Young Guns race in Las Vegas, which pits 20 of the best 19-and-under racers in the country against one another.
While he’s relatively new to A Mods, Kniss has a lot of racing experience. He began racing outlaw karts in Dixon when he was 8.
“It clicked with him really quick,” Kniss’ mother, Beverly, said. “His dream has always been to race. My dad raced, his dad still races, obviously he’s taken after that.”
In the short term, Kniss’ goal is to win the season. He will also attend Los Medanos College. While there, he plans to continue racing, play on the baseball team and get his welding certificate.
When he finishes college, Kniss hopes to continue racing in the East. There, he’d have more opportunities to race, possibly including road racing.
“I’d love to go back east, travel around and race with better competition,” Kniss said. “They race three times a week, at least. I race just once a week now and there’s a lot of downtime. You really can’t get more experience. I’ll get better going against better people. Just traveling a bit will make it more fun.”