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Hickory pupil racks up wins as race automobile driver | Information

HERMITAGE — Though he’s at present a junior at Hickory Excessive Faculty, Ayden Cipriano has one other profession outdoors of his training — racing.

Cipriano, 16, began racing when he was 7, after being impressed by his father’s motocross racing. Nevertheless, Ayden mentioned he wished to race vehicles as an alternative, preferring the automobile’s security options to being extra uncovered on a bike.


Ayden Cipriano, 16, a junior at Hickory Excessive Faculty, inside one of many automobiles he races with in his storage in Hermitage.

Ayden nonetheless retained his father’s quantity, “5,” and adopted the black-and-yellow Steelers paint scheme.

“I figured I’d be safer in a automobile that was enclosed with stuff round me,” Cipriano mentioned.

At first, Cipriano began racing with a smaller automobile that resembled a dash automobile with out the sails. On the time he raced in a league with different youth, though there was nonetheless the educational curve of passing and being handed with out inflicting an accident.


Footage from Ayden Cipriano’s racing profession on show in his storage in Hermitage.

Cipriano finally moved onto the modified class, for the reason that household had buddies who raced modifieds and thought it will be essentially the most accessible automobile to get began in.

Now, Cipriano races in opposition to different drivers who vary from folks as younger as him to extra skilled drivers of their 30s or 40s.


Ayden Cipriano, 16, a junior at Hickory Excessive Faculty, with the automobiles he races with in his storage in Hermitage.

Luckily, the older drivers are very supportive of the brand new era, and the various racing households kind a “good neighborhood,” he mentioned.

He additionally doesn’t really feel any stress to succeed, regardless of being the primary member of his household to race modifieds.

“I really feel like I can go on the market and carry out nonetheless I carry out, and everybody will nonetheless be proud of me,” Cipriano mentioned.

That relaxed angle doesn’t imply Cipriano takes it simple on the racetrack.

Up to now this yr, Cipriano has achieved wins at Tri-Metropolis Raceway Park, Raceway 7, and a pair wins at Sharon Speedway.

With earlier second- and third-place finishes, Cipriano mentioned lastly successful felt just like the fruits of the trouble he and his household had put in, whether or not it meant driving on the observe or the enhancements to their automobile.


Ayden Cipriano, 16, a junior at Hickory Excessive Faculty, middle, along with his crew, from left, Wealthy Cipriano, grandpa, Invoice Cipriano, dad, and BJ Winner, cousin, of their storage in Hermitage.

However no matter whether or not or not he wins, Cipriano mentioned his household is all the time there to assist him.

“My mother will all the time document and also you’ll hear her yelling within the background, and if I’m ever working together with folks, you possibly can see how they’ll get slightly nervous and don’t actually wish to watch, however they need to,” he mentioned.

Juggling faculty and racing isn’t tough, apart from just a few races in Florida or North Carolina that the household wish to journey to. Most of his buddies additionally know he races by now, so it’s not a giant deal amongst his friends, he mentioned.

After he graduates from highschool, Cipriano mentioned he plans to proceed racing so long as he can, and hopes to attend school for both software program engineering or mechanical engineering.

If Cipriano in the end pursues mechanical engineering, he’d wish to study extra about how vehicles perform since he already helps his father when repairing their very own vehicles.

However apart from simply fixing up vehicles, Cipriano is focused on presumably even designing vehicles, from the chassis’ to the decals on the edges.

“I really feel like that may be actually cool,” Cipriano mentioned.


Footage from Ayden Cipriano’s, 16, a junior at Hickory Excessive Faculty, racing profession on show in his storage in Hermitage.

To observe Cipriano’s progress, the household maintains the “Cipriano Racing” Fb web page, which incorporates updates on races and outcomes.

For others focused on turning into race automobile drivers sometime, Cipriano mentioned crucial piece of recommendation is to not grow to be discouraged, since enhancing driving expertise will take time.

“At first you’re going to most likely be towards the again and also you’re going to see all these folks go flying previous you, and it’s discouraging at first,” Cipriano mentioned.

“However if you happen to maintain with it, and you retain getting higher, you’ll beat the folks which might be flying by and also you’ll be successful races finally.”

Like David L. Dye on Fb or e-mail him at .

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