Kye Blight ready to build on strong Summer Nationals showing

Kye Blight

One driver who garnered some much deserved attention during this year’s DIRTcar Summer Nationals was Kye Blight. The native of Bunbury, Western Australia turned in a solid month that ultimately placed him fourth in the final standings after posting four top-5 and ten top-10 finishes over the course of the 23-race schedule.

Blight first came to the United States in 2017 when he worked to help prepare Dirt Late Models for two-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion Tim McCreadie. After that experience, he was hooked. As a result, the now 30-year-old began to look for avenues that would allow him to drive race cars in this part of the world which brought him together with fellow Australian Paul Stubber.

Dirt racing has grown to be quite popular ‘Down Under’ and Blight found himself immediately drawn to the sport. The five-time Western Australia State champion initially hoped that racing in America would aid his efforts in his homeland. Now, however, his racing desires have changed.

“We were racing little Hornets but the goal was always to be at the pinnacle of racing and that was Late Models,” Blight told “That was the reason we came over here, to be better back home. Now it’s kind of progressed to where we’re pretty competitive back home and we want to be full time over here.”

The Summer Nationals provides a driver seeking as much experience as can be gained in a relatively short time frame an opportunity to log a significant number of competitive laps. Also, living at his temporary address near Indianapolis in Greencastle, Indiana places him in the middle of the action for that Midwestern-based series.

All in all, the 2023 Summer Nationals proved to be a great experience for the three-time Australian Late Model National champion.

“I loved it,” Blight declared when asked to describe his Summer Nationals run. “It was awesome. For us to come over here, we’ve got to try to cram as much racing as we can into a short amount of time. That Summer Nationals fits us really well since we can race every night and work on the things we need to work on without having to take a week off to regroup. It was good.”

Because he was doing so well, Blight and the Stubber-owned team made a change in their original plans. The driver and car owner enjoyed spending time in the U.S. during what is winter time in Australia.

“We didn’t actually plan to run the whole thing,” Blight explained. “Paul was going to run a couple of weeks and I was going to run a couple of weeks. I kind of started off pretty well and he said for me to just keep going. I was glad we did because we ended up fourth in points there. We improved enough there at the end that I wish we had the first two weeks back. It was a lot of fun, it was just Joey Chambers and I on the road. It was a lot of work but I would ring my wife everyday and she’s cold, she’s got a jumper and a jacket, so it wasn’t too bad to get out there and sweat it out a little bit.”

Even with this summer’s success, Blight sees an opportunity to get better.

“We’re not as consistent as I’d like to be right now, but yeah, we’ve definitely improved,” he pointed out. “At the start of the year, we were just scrapping by, making shows and stuff, then we started winning heat races and running up front. I really thought we were going to get us one of those Summer Nationals races there at the end. For us right now, we know what we’ve got to work on. We’re honing our skills to where we can be more competitive and more consistent every night then compete at a national level.”

Kye Blight wheeling the No. 31 Rocket Chassis

After showing such dramatic improvement, Blight has his eyes set on the ultimate goal.

“We want to be full time on a national tour,” he declared. “I feel like we’ve got the equipment, Paul’s got top notch equipment with Rocket(Chassis) and Andy Durham(Engines) and Accu-Force. He’s got the pieces of the puzzle, it’s just our job to put the pieces in the right spot at the right time.”

While racing on a national series may be the long-term goal, the driver of the No. 31 car has a short-term goal in mind as well.

“We like to bookend our trip at Eldora, start at the Dream and finish at the World. Our goal this year has been to make the World so that’s what we’re working towards and I’d love to get in that race.”

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