Racing season is here… Future Rookie of the year?
(Written by Tracy Pecore)
Anthony “Scott” Kingswan, currently working with the maintenance department at Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison, where he also resides, loves the sport of racing. On his free time he races with the American Speed Association (ASA) in Madison, WI.
Born and raised pretty much in Madison, but living for a brief period in Black River Falls, Scott’s father is Tony Kingswan (who also drag raced at Union Grove back in the day), and his mother is Elaine Kingswan. His earliest childhood memories and fondest times were going to the local races with his father, which he said, “that seemed like “our” thing to do.” But, at age 14, when his parents divorced, he lost that part in his life. As any normal teenager, other things were happening in his life and he turned to using alcohol and battled that all the way up to three and half years ago.
Kingswan said, “Now that I’m sober and all of these opportunities have come up, all of my old friends and relationships have come back into my life, stronger because of my sobriety, and because of new opportunities working with the racetrack.”
Kingswan first became acquainted with the ASA over three years ago when he was asked to be the individual that would talk to them about promoting the casino at the racetrack. He became the spokesman on behalf of HCG Madison. But for the last year, he has been involved with the race team personally on his own time.
Originally, Kingswan was trying to get a sponsorship deal for a friend but everywhere he went they said if he was the owner or the driver, or a bigger percentage of the team, they would possibly be interested but they didn’t allocate funds for non-participants. He was eventually told and given the suggestion that, “Why don’t you try it, you know so much about the sport, you’ve worked around it for so long.” With some limited background with driving a few legends cars and some go carts, Kingswan began a new journey in life and set a goal, possibly to become rookie of the year.
He did approach the Ho-Chunk Nation and they seemed very receptive about it and have been walking him through the process and the steps needed to do it on his own. They said, “We’d like you to do this on your own and see what happens.” Kingswan said it has progressed quite fast.
Prior to Kingswan working with the C&J Fabrication team, they have won every championship in the truck series since that division was first created. Kingswan feels very fortunate to be surrounded with and involved with some very accomplished racers, “Probably the best in the Midwest,” he said. Chad Wood, owner of C&J Fabrication and Joe Wood who owns Pathfinder Chassies, are the team owners. Scott also noted they have a lot of the track champions or big winners in the area that have their cars in and out of their shops, or have been built there and maintained by them.
The Vice President, Steve Einhaus, of the American Speed Association has also been quite instrumental and has been helping Scott with presenting his proposal to the HCN. He also held a banquet with the Baraboo facility in hopes to show already a return on investment for the tribe if they do get involved.
Kingswan wanted to stress that part of the package is a “race for diversity program” which was created in his case. He made mention that part of that sponsorship money will go to the ASA and in turn they are going to market the HCN casinos and try to promote us the best way possible (especially through handouts to those entering the speedway). They would also like to promote the HCN Daxu coffee, to be the coffee of ASA, to help push our water and get that out into the public. They would like to get an interest from the HCN to involve our tribal members as much as they can.
With the racing season upon us, it’s time for Scott to get into normal rotation while still working fulltime at the casino. Currently, he will be racing on the weekends. So far this year, he has done a couple go cart races. He made his way to the Sugar River Raceway about a month ago and there were 54 entrants. Although he didn’t place in the top 10, he finished 32nd. He said, “These are kids that have won go-cart championships, track championships, and have plenty more experience than me. I think I did pretty well every time I went out there and I improved.”
The first time getting into a race, Kingswan said he didn’t feel nervous getting out there but felt excited about it. He said, “I learned that it was a different go cart every single time I raced and each time I improved. It took a lot to get used to because the track was pretty rough and bounced you around all over. After doing the half mile road course my body felt pretty sore the next day too.”
When he’s not driving the truck his teammate drives it and he weighs in at 170 pounds. Currently, Scott is weighing in at 213 pounds. He would like to lose weight to get down to a weight that matches his teammate. To do so, he works out physically and sits on the race simulator at home and runs about 500 laps a night; with the heat on, in his driving suit, and with his helmet and gloves on so he gets used to that. He does that for approximately 2-3 hours per night. He said, “Every pound is critical.” The more he loses the more they can put weight in desired places of the truck, which would be low and to the left to help the truck handle better.
The race team itself is going to field six trucks out of the C&J Fabrication garage, three of his teammates who have all been previous champions which he said “puts a little pressure on him, but is also an advantage” because he has such experienced and knowledgeable people who can help him only improve.
In the meantime, he is focusing on test driving when he has time and if weather permits. He has also been helping with the building of the trucks. Within the past year, he’s already spent an easy $11,000 out of his own pocket for computer programming for a race simulator at home, helmet, suit, racing shoes, gloves, radio, stuff to make him comfy in the truck (seat, steering column).
Inspiration shared with Scott was, “It’s a great inspiration for our tribal members, to show you can battle back from alcoholism and make something of your life.” I think that too. Keep up the great work Scott and congratulations to your sobriety.
One quote that Scott follows is “I can conquer the world with one hand if only you would hold the other.” He has a lot of people he would like to thank and especially all those that have been by his side making his dream become a reality. Just to name a few, his dad and brother Tony and Joe Kingswan, Carol Laustrup who has given him a lot of advice and guidance, John Holst and Dave Abangan, the C&J Fabrication team, and Steven Einhaus for believing in him when nobody else would. “Pinagigi!”