If 12-year-old Kaidan Fisher wins any more trophies, his family will need to build another room onto their Shelburne home.
Kaiden is a race car driver.
It started with go-karts. When he was 9, his parents heard about kids go-kart racing at Speedway 51 track in Groveton, N.H. They brought Kaidan over to check it out.
“I had one practice of about 30 laps,” Kaidan said. “A week later we went back for the race. I didn’t re-ally know how I’d do, but I tried to go out and do my best.”
His best was winning his first race, and the trophy collecting was on.
He has trophies in his bedroom and more downstairs.
He’s got almost 40 and has them stashed around his home. All indications are that the collection will continue to grow.
“We actually need to add onto our basement to put them all on display,” said his mom Danielle Whit-ten. Their family has even more trophies than Kaidan’s because there are his father’s trophies as well. Dad Jamie Fisher raced on the American Canadian Tour at Thunder Road in Barre and all over New Eng-land.
So, although he may have only been racing for a couple of years, Kaidan’s been learning about racing for quite a while.
“He’s been going to races since he was 6 months old,” Whitten said.
But his father, who owns R&J Trucking in Shelburne, has stepped out of racing himself to support his son’s racing. Kaidan has won the track championship for go-karts at Speedway 51 in every division he’s raced in since he began in 2017.
From go-karts to cars
Now, he’s racing cars – Mustangs to be exact.
In New Hampshire, you can race cars at 11. He’ll have to wait three years to race cars in Vermont, where the minimum age is 14.
Kaidan just turned 12 on Sept. 26 and is in the sixth grade at Shelburne Community School.
This past season, he just missed winning the Daredevils (10-14 years old) division in auto racing when his axle broke near the end of the final race. He came in fourth on points for the series.
“I screamed when I saw it,” said Whitten. In fact, they have the video and she said she screams every time she sees his axle break. He almost flipped.
“I tend to be the one pacing,” she said. “I’m more nervous that he’s not going to win. He’s got all of his safety devices on, so I’m confident that he’s safe,” she said. But because of her nervous pacing, “Ja-mie and I don’t even stand together.”
Kaidan decided to race in the adult Street Stock division to see if he could keep up. Kaidan, his father and friend Brad Bushey had two weeks to get a new axle and put the car back together.
Fall Brawl racing rival
The car was ready in time and Kaidan didn’t just keep up, he came pretty close to winning the Fall Brawl, which was won by Thunder Road champion Jeff Martin.
“He said he couldn’t believe that Kaidan wouldn’t get out of his mirror,” Whitten said. “He thought he was going to run away from him.”
Of course, racing cars meant that the then 11-year-old had to learn to drive a stick shift.
“I started on a tractor and then went to a Mustang,” Kaidan said.
They put blocks on the pedals so his preteen legs reach the pedals and raised the seat.
His father has a shop with a field where Kaidan practiced shifting. He has a video racing game and he practiced on his uncle’s simulator. When he plays video racing games with his friends, he tries to get them to practice what he thinks is his greatest skill – patience.
“I try my hardest to have a lot of patience,” he said.
Kaidan said his friends often drive too fast on his simulator and he tries to get them to be patient and use technique.
His mother echoed her son’s assessment of his skill.
“He has it under control. He’s very patient and takes it all in,” Whitten said. “His father coaches him on different techniques and he’s a sponge. He takes it all in and uses any knowledge he gets from watch-ing races and he really likes to learn from other people.”
The other thing Kaidan works on is going into corners slower and timing it just right coming out of the corners and being smooth with his steering.
“We’ve all been surprised at how well he’s done,” his mother said. “He’s definitely got a talent for it.”