By Conner Smith
William Blankenship is a flat-out speed demon.
Blankenship is a local Warren County racer who has been doing what he loves since he was 8 years old and is very competitive and successful with nearly 50 career wins. A 2022 WCHS graduate, William is preparing for life after high school.
Blankenship started out racing go-carts at the young age of 8 in Knoxville and began loving to race ever since. William began when his cousin introduced him to go-cart racing and he has loved it ever since that day.
Blankenship says he aspires to continue dirt racing and to move up to a larger motor series such as a “super late model rather than a 604 car.”
With all the experience and winning under his belt, what advice would he give to an upcoming racer or someone wanting to start his journey?
Blankenship said, “To do your research, ask a lot of questions, and to never be stubborn and to listen when someone tries to give you advice.”
Blankenship was involved in a bad accident in 2020 and it has somewhat changed his approach.
”I think about my moves, I’m more cautious about how I approach it and I don’t jerk like I used to.”
William still needs advice as he says his parents are his biggest influence and have helped him the most on this journey. From helping him learn how to drive, taking him to the track, and funding his races, he thanks them greatly for it.
William’s dad Jerry has done it all. For one race, he says his parents and him got up at 5 a.m. and didn’t pull in until 8 a.m. the next morning and then still made it to church that Sunday morning. Jerry is a new elder at Westwood Church of Christ.
That dedication has paid off as William says he’s won 40 go-cart races and six dirt races and hopes to earn many more this summer and down the line in his career.
William’s routine for race day is lengthy and exhausting. He says they wake up early, do any repairs that are needed, load the car up and take it to the racetrack, then they practice to make sure everything is still fine, make adjustments based on racetrack conditions, and then most importantly win.
William says he has learned many lessons from racing that help him with his next race and life itself. He says he has learned to be patient and that opportunities will come your way and not to rush something if it’s not time. He says it’s important to put yourself out there and take risks, but not severe risks as he says from his experiences that’s when you hurt yourself.
As crazy as it seems in racing, William says, “Slow and steady always wins the race.”
If you are cautious, smart, and patient you will become extremely successful, he says. To go along with his parents’ sacrifices his responsibilities have changed too as he’s matured and gotten older. William has been doing a lot on his car from a young age as he says, “My dad will help me in the shop and transport it places, but throughout the week I wash the car and check the nuts and bolts with his crew along with other things.”
William says as he’s made a name for himself, people have wanted to join along his journey and help out as he says, “People want to help winners.”
William has a race this weekend in Kentucky at the Lake Cumberland Speedway with the American All-Star Series. William says he is extremely grateful for his lifelong friendships that he has made and very thankful for everything that he’s accomplished.
If you’d like to see what else William has going on, make sure to visit his website Williamblankenship32.com for more information and his race dates.