Southport student active in Best Buddies program
Senior staff writer
Kimmie Greig has faced many challenges while racing at the Indianapolis Speedrome since she was 9.
She has won five Junior FasKarts championships, the Junior Hornets title in 2016, and finished second in the Factory Front Wheel Drive series this year. She won three consecutive races this year, including a 50-lap oval feature, and the All-Star 150-lap oval race.
Greig, who is among student leaders of Southport High School’s Best Buddies program, is preparing for the biggest leap in her young career. She’s advancing from the Factory Front Wheel Drive Series to the Hoosier-based Champion Racing Association Lawrence Towing-sponsored Street Stock Series.
“This will be a lot different, a much slower learning curve, I’m sure,” she said. “Hopefully by the end of the year (2018) I’ll be close to where I want to be.”
She jumps from a front-wheel drive car to a rear-drive Chevrolet and from 170 horsepower to 600 horsepower. She also goes from the slightly banked Speedrome to the high banks of Salem, Winchester, Anderson and Bristol speedways.
“Everything I know about racing, I’ve learned from my dad,” Greig said. “I am getting better at explaining to him what the car is doing. I can speak in ‘girl terms’ but not so much race car.”
She is a fourth-generation participant at the Speedrome, where great-grandfather “Pops” Greig was a mechanic on Billy Arnold’s jalopies and a longtime track official; grandfather Mike Greig was a master builder of figure-8 cars, and dad Doug Greig is a champion driver and car builder.
“Dad got me started working on cars; some of what I do is self-taught,” Doug said. “I believe if you can win a race at the Speedrome, you can win a race anywhere because it’s too tight, it’s hard to get a trip on that place.”
CRA Street Stocks is a low-tier series that is a stepping stone to the ARCA/CRA Super Series.
For now, her focus is on the street stocks. Her father has built two CRA Street Stocks plus a stock class Chevrolet for the Speedrome, where she also advances next season.
Doug, who has built 75 race cars through the years for Speedrome teams, and Kimmie are known throughout CRA. He is a four-time Speedrome track champion, ranks eighth in career wins on the figure-8 with 33, two-time winner World Championship Figure-8 three-hour endurance race and is the all-time event leader with 944 laps.
“The Greig name means that the car is orange and blue and is number 33,” Kimmie said with pride. “We know a lot of the drivers and teams in CRA and they always have shown respect for this family.”
Her driving style will be the same as it has been at the Speedrome – stay low in the corners and then high on the straightaways – until she gets to the high backs where it’s possible to ride the rim.
“I’ll be challenged, I’ll be honest,” Greig said. “The main thing I’ve learned by racing is to race other drivers clean and they will race you clean.”
Her father is her role model when it comes to racing.
“I’ve seen him accomplish most everything he has raced, and I honor that,” Greig said. “My papaw (Mike Greig) was an amazing guy and everyone respected him. He was an honorable man.”
She is equally active off the track as a student.
Her favorite subject is chemistry, and she enjoys assisting disadvantaged students through Best Buddies. She missed a race at the Speedrome last summer because she had to attend a leadership conference.
She explained there are three levels to Best Buddies that encourages students to become helpers and friends with intellectually and developmentally disabled students.
“I’ve learned to treat everyone with the same respect that you would want them to treat you, even if they have a disability,” Greig said. “They are human, and they don’t want to be treated any different.”
Greig, who plans to become a special education teacher, and Best Buddies have gone to special events and camps for bonding. About 40 students are involved in Best Buddies at Southport.
On the track next year, Greig hopes to make her new car her best buddy as well.