Jay Sauls discovered his love for racing when he was a fifth-grader.
Just 10 years old at the time, Sauls got hooked on the adrenaline rush after he competed in his first Go-Kart race.
And he wasn’t surprised about his newfound passion, considering he was following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather.
“My grandpa Bill used to manage Spanaway Speedway,” Sauls said. “ My dad (Mike Sauls) used to work for him at the track and raced there growing up.”
Sauls began to compete in stock car racing at the conclusion of his senior year of high school in 2003, and he hasn’t stopped since.
Cruising around a track at rapid speeds doesn’t phase him.
“I grew up around it my whole life,” Sauls said. “You definitely have to be smart and can’t be afraid of anything. It is just second nature to me.”
Sauls competed in a multitude of races during the past 10 years, but he hit the jackpot at the Coors Light Summer Showdown 200, presented by Napa Auto Parts, at Evergreen Speedway on June 29 in Monroe. Sauls won the race and edged out Eric Schmidt of Roseville, Calif., by about four car lengths. He earned $12,000 with the victory.
“I was in the lead with nine laps to go, and we had a restart,” said Sauls, a Rogers High School graduate. “I missed the shift and fell back into third place. I was able to catch back up to second place, and there was another caution and restart with three laps to go. I was able to pass the car ahead of me on the white-flag lap and win the race.
“I have won quite a bit of races, but that was the biggest one I have won so far,” he said. “All of the money from the win is going right back into the race car.”
Sauls said his sponsors from 48th Street Pub and Grill in Tacoma, as well as family members and friends, were in attendance for one of the biggest accomplishments of his career.
“Everyone was so excited and so pumped,” he said. “There was probably 30 to 35 people there. It was a party. We all had such a good time.”
When he was young, Sauls envisioned himself racing on the biggest stage, but he’s happy with the regional circuit. He works full-time at Geico in Seattle as an insurance adjustor.
“It’s all about having fun and enjoying what I am doing, and having a good time with my family,” he said. “They are all so involved in it to. We have fun, and it’s our family hobby.”