It takes a lot of people to keep CCM Racing alive, especially our teammates who accompany the team on the circuit during the season.
One of those people is Colton Collins, a 17-year-old Oklahoma native who is an aspiring runner himself and joined the team just a few years ago.
Don’t be fooled by his age – Colton has been involved in racing since he was six, spending time as a driver, team owner and, of course, a crew member.
He first developed a taste for racing after a classmate informed him of a “10 spins for $ 10” event at the Tulsa Quarter Midgets Association.
You can probably guess what happened next.
“We went over there, got in a full car, got out on the track and, well… we ended up leaving with a car that day,” Colton recalls.
From that point on, Colton got hooked. During his midget quarterback career, which lasted until 2018, Colton racked up six track championships, one regional championship, several track records and numerous race wins.
It was around this time that he met CCM Racing owner / driver Eric Caudell at the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit in Jennings, Oklahoma.
“I knew someone who ran Legends in Hallett,” Colton recalls. “We were looking at that stuff to maybe jump in and lead into some Legends stuff. We were there with them and we were just walking around and I saw some old NASCAR trucks. I walked over to Eric and saw his ARCA hat and asked him if he runs ARCA or owns a team or what. He told me he had a team and that I should come to his store someday.
Colton did and joined the team regularly on the track afterwards, gaining experience that proved invaluable as he rose through the ranks of the race.
“I think it really helped me a lot,” he said. “Instead of just wanting to drive, I was able to gain hands-on experience and work in real time on that level of things and understanding of the car. Whenever I get the chance to drive [an ARCA car], I will be able to understand what he is doing. If something is broken, I will be able to feel it. Stuff like that. Each time you understand the car, you can drive it better.
Colton hopes to translate this hands-on experience into track success with the goal of making a few starts in the ARCA Racing Series in 2022. In the meantime, he still plans to be part of CCM Racing as a crew member and, if given the opportunity. introduces himself, a driver.
“Colton is an integral part of our team,” says Eric. “He’s the most racing-oriented kid I have ever met. He traveled across the country with CCM and spent countless hours learning to drive ARCA cars.
In addition to his time with CCM Racing, Colton has also spent time racing at Bolivar Speedway for the past two years in the Baby Grand and Super Trucks classes, winning several races in Baby Grands and placing in the top five between the two classes.
If that’s not enough, Colton also experienced racing from an owner’s perspective. Colton acquired a quarterfinal from one of his mentors who died in 2016, and loaned the car to a family to help them get started in the race, and was ultimately able to perform well.
Then, last year, Colton went on to victory as an owner in a USAC Central Series race with 13-year-old Eli Combs.
Originally, Colton wasn’t supposed to own Eli’s car, but the family’s racing trailer got stuck in the mud after heavy rains in the area. When Colton found out, he decided to step in and help.
“I was like, ‘Hey, I’m going to throw two cars together and we can get off and you don’t have to do anything,’” Colton said. “So I threw two cars together and we went over there and set the car up on my own. I talked [Eli] through it all and he ended up winning a race and finishing third in another class.
And where did it all happen? Where it all started for Colton, at TQMA.
Going forward, Colton wants to continue climbing the ranks in stock car racing, eventually climbing the ranks as an ARCA driver, to the Camping World Truck Series, then to the Xfinity Series and, ultimately, the Cup Series. .
Right now you might be wondering what Colton is doing outside of the race track. In addition to high school, he also takes welding lessons at a technical school near his home and was able to apply this knowledge in the racing world.
He also enjoys working on his own race car, the racing simulation… Basically, even off the track Colton is still racing all the time!
In fact, he stays just as busy during the offseason. Colton attended the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show in Indianapolis, Indiana last month and was able to verify some items on his to-do list in the process.
“It was really cool to see old friends and meet new people who contribute a lot to the racing community,” said Colton. “It was nice to be able to put on a costume, helmet, HANS and figure it all out before I had to rush out and do it.”
Finally, in 2022, Colton will add yet another label to his racing CV: team leader!
Colton will be Matt Wilson’s team leader during the 2022 COMMA Series program at the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit.
All of us here at CCM Racing are supporting Colton on his racing journey! And who knows, maybe in a few years, we’ll have the pleasure of saying “We met him when …”