By Phil Whipple, RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer. Photo By: Scott Burson
TEXARKANA, Texas — All throughout this season, we've looked at just how competitive the Limited Modified ranks are across Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. It's one of those divisions loaded with talent, but if you look closely you'll find a gifted young driver who stands above the competition.
For 21-year-old-Colby Mewborn, this season has been one to remember. He has dug in, worked very hard, and is now reaping the benefits. In 20 starts this year, Mewborn has earned six wins, 12 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. He's competing weekly at Boothill, with a few stops at 67 to keep himself busy.
“Last year, especially at places like Boothill Speedway, I really struggled,” Mewborn admitted candidly right off the bat. “I kept telling myself I would find redemption there. I even began to doubt my own abilities. I dedicated myself this year to bouncing back; no matter how much work it took to get there.
“We worked hard in the off-season to prepare, and have put in the hard work on keeping the car fast and consistent week after grueling week. That focus and extra effort has paid off for us. I'm just very grateful for how well we've run, and to be this competitive week-to-week is a great feeling.”
Mewborn is a name that's been around the sport of auto racing almost since it began. Colby is a third-generation driver, with a lineage full of wins and memories created all over the Ark-La-Texas region.
“It all started with my Dad's father, who was known as Cowboy,” Mewborn proudly explained. “So my Dad was around it most of his life, and now me and my brother, Connor, have been in it most of our lives, as well. It's a lifelong family thing, so we don't know really know any other way of life.
“My little brother, who just turned 17, got a win of his own this year in the Factory Stock class. He got a win in 2020, but this year has really shocked me, to be honest. When I was 16, I wasn't able to race full time. He has definitely matured behind the wheel in 2021. I'm really proud of his efforts.”
Colby is carrying on that family tradition of success on the ovals in fine style. What's amazing is the fact he doesn't have a tremendous amount of seat time. Before 2020, he was a part-timer.
“I started racing when I was 12,” Mewborn explained. “but this is only my second year of full-time action. Before last year, I was sharing a ride with my Dad. I finally bought my own car last year, so this is only my second year of racing full-time every weekend.
“Just having that seat time now, being in the car every weekend and learning more about it is why I feel the results are coming now. Learning how to read a race track and adapt my car to suit track conditions only comes with constant racing. I feel like we're really making some good progress this season.”
Within the pit areas at places like Boothill Speedway, 67 Speedway of Texarkana, The Rev or just about anywhere else in the region, you'll find the level of competition in Limited Mods is off the chart.
“It's extremely difficult to win in this class with all the veterans we have out there,” Mewborn said. “I grew up watching guys like Derick Grigsby, Ricky Ingalls, Adam Roy and so many others compete around here.
“There is so much top-notch talent in Limited Modifieds. To even be running with those guys in the top five is awesome, but to occasionally beat them is like a dream come true, to be honest.”
When Mewborn suits up each week and gets ready to race, he climbs into a unique car, one that is quite rare in his area but also an extremely competitive race car.
“I have a 2018 Western Flyer chassis out of Oklahoma,” he explained. “It was built by Curtis Allen, and is an awesome race car. I believe I have the only one of its kind in this region, which I think is pretty cool. I bought it from my cousin, Justin Whitehead. I've driven it a lot and absolutely love it.”
As for his engines, Mewborn says there's really only one choice for superior power and reliability.
“I use a motor from Chuck Priestly at BEST Engines,” he said. “In my opinion, Chuck builds the best racing engines available. So the combination of his horsepower in this Western Flyer is a great one.”
Along with his immense natural talent behind the wheel, Mewborn also has several key people working behind the scenes to keep his racing program on-track and successful.
“I need to thank my parents, Bryan Mewborn and Kristy Mewborn; my brother, Connor Mewborn; and my Fiancé, Brooklyn Harvin. I couldn't do this without them and appreciate the sacrifices they make for my racing efforts.
“I also need to thank my valued sponsors, including Chuck Priestly at Best Engines; Thomas Turner Sr. at A&T Delivery; Tim Frost at Pro 1 Transmission; Neil Kemp at Club20 Suspension; and Phil Hadaway at Hadaway Towing. I'm honored to represent them all and truly appreciate their support.”
With the 2021 points season rapidly winding down, Mewborn has his sights set squarely on one goal.
“We really didn't start out with the goal of chasing points this year at all,” he said. “I won three races right off the bat at Boothill and naturally was leading the standings. So that changed our plans, and I'm going after the championship now. It's been a great year, now hopefully we can close it out right.”