With a name like Rayce Kidd, you gotta be cool right?? Kidd spends most of his time at big money bracket races racing whatever he can get his hands on. This season will be his 13th season racing.
If you’ve got a name like Rayce Kidd, it’s a rule that you just have to be a drag racer!
Kidd grew up watching his dad race and helping him in the race shop and engine shop all he could. He knew at a very young age that he wanted to drive a race car. He started racing juniors in 2007 then moved into big cars two days after his 16th birthday.
In 2013, they hit the road and started traveling to race more which is where they stand now. Rayce spends most of his time at big money bracket races with some local racing here and there.
Learn more about Rayce Kidd with the following Q&A.
DragChamp Racer Spotlight with Rayce Kidd
How long have you been racing?
The 2020 season will be my 13th season.
How did you get introduced to the sport?
My father, Mark Kidd, began racing in 1981, my sister and I grew up at the racetrack watching him race and helping him in the race shop and engine shop all we could, I knew at a very young age that I wanted to drive a race car.
Which class or classes do you compete in? Where do you normally race?
I’m bad off the top, but I’m really bad off the bottom, and don’t have time to make time runs at NHRA races, so anymore I pretty much bracket race off the top. I find myself in a dragster more often than not, but I drive door cars every chance I get. My local track is Firebird Raceway in Boise, Idaho, but the last few years my father and I have been focused on big money bracket racing, so we’re on the road most of the season.
My sister, Marissa, and I started racing Jr’s in 2007 when I was 11 years old. My dad had two rules: flicker the stage bulb and never dial something you can’t run. We had a lot of success in Jr’s but never left Boise, my dad just wanted us to get as many looks at the tree and finish line as possible before getting in big cars.
In the Spring of 2012, two days after my 16th birthday, I licensed in one of Delbert Marcum’s dragsters. We just raced in Boise that first season to get my sister and I seat time. I somehow slopped my way to the Super Pro track championship that first year, and then in 2013 we hit the road and have been racing all the big money bracket races we can ever since.
Tell us about your current race car.
My father owns all the race cars, currently he has two dragsters, a 2004 Undercover and a 2007 TNT, a 67 nova, and a 95 s-10. Between myself, my father, and my sister, we share driving duties. I’ve spent most of my time in the 2007 TNT, but my favorite car is the 67 Nova. My father bought it turn-key in the fall of 2018 and immediately took it to Vegas and won a night of the Thanksgiving Bracket Nationals off the bottom… so we took it home and gutted it, completely re-wired and plumbed it, had Shawn Hart paint it, and set it up to quadruple enter in August if we want to.
Two batteries, the biggest alternator you can buy and an even bigger radiator. It’s an 8.50 cert back-half car: wishbone 4-link, mustang II front, real doors and glass all around, 410” conventional headed small block, glide, and 9” in the back. It goes 6.10s @ 111 and will do real nice wheelies.
Please list your major racing accomplishments.
I’m washed up now, but when I did win, I won a Jr. dragster track championship at Firebird in Boise in 2008, a Super Pro track championship at Firebird in 2012, a Top Dragster track championship at RMR in Salt Lake in 2016, and a $20k win at the Vegas fling in 2017.
What’s on your bucket list, future goals, what do you hope to achieve?
I like to joke about NHRA so I shouldn’t admit this, but if I had the time and means to do so, I’d love to chase a world championship, preferably in Super Comp or Stock, but I’d race anything if I had the opportunity. My dad spent most of his early career super class racing, chasing NHRA points, so I appreciate the history and prestige of it. It would definitely be cool to hoist a wally or two at a national event and be in the hunt for a world championship.
For now, I just want to get my name on as many big checks as possible, the competition in the big money scene is at such a high-level right now, winning any big money bracket race is an impressive achievement no matter what level the driver.
What is your favorite race car, and why?
Dave Connolly’s Nova Wagon. Doesn’t get much cooler than four doors, long roofs, and wheelies.
Who has made the biggest impact on your racing success?
Definitely my dad. He has taught me everything I know, both mechanically and as a driver. Even more than teaching me good racing strategy, I really appreciate the time he spent teaching me the mechanical side of racing. He let me turn the wrenches and make a lot of mistakes growing up, I had to learn a few things the hard way, and I definitely cost him some money a few times, but I can carry that knowledge with me to continue to have success racing for the rest of my life. It has made me appreciate and really enjoy the mechanical side of racing. I enjoy building/ wiring/ plumbing race cars almost as much as I enjoy driving them.
Who do you look up to in the sport?
From a pure driver standpoint, I really look up to Peter Biondo, his ability to hop in any car, anytime, anywhere and always be good is in my opinion the coolest attribute to have in a sportsman driver. From an overall racer standpoint, I really look up to Luke Bogacki, I admire his attention to detail and dedication to car set-up, maintenance, practice, and on-track strategy.
Tell us what you do for a living?
I’m a mechanical engineer. I design memory test equipment for Micron Technology.
How do you support your racing, side hustle, sponsor, partner, etc.?
My job helps, I also wire race cars and street rods on the side, but I definitely could not have raced at the level I have without my father. If I was on my own, I’d be dialed eight-something on the short track and swapping feet. I owe all my experience and success to my father and Kidd Performance.
Also, the last couple years, Shane Thompson has helped me out a lot getting my junk to some of the biggest east coast races and has let me wheel his cars the last few years, I really appreciate all the opportunities Shane has given me.
Who do you hate to see in the other lane, and why?
Kris Whitfield. Our record is gross, I think it’s 7-0, and I’m not the seven. I’m just going to wreck into him next time we race… LOL. All joking aside, Kris is a good friend and a great driver, always a fun race with him.
What’s the hardest part of drag racing?
Making nine or ten good runs in a row, with two or three of those being really good runs.
What’s your most embarrassing moment in a race car?
Almost piled it up at the 2018 Million in Montgomery. It was late Friday night, cold track between rain storms, Jeff Serra had me covered up front, I think .003 to my .022, he’s working me over pretty early, I grab the jug at about 450’ and my junk backfires and stops, I don’t know what to do other than get really behind so I stop even harder and it goes as sideways as I’ve ever been, fortunately I kept it on all four, but I would have been really embarrassed if I stacked it up to be .05 above for the L.
Only redeeming part of that story is that I got cool pic with about a foot of flame coming out of the collector when it backfired.
Are you superstitious? If so, what are they?
Nah not really, but my friends and I do have a “no Denny’s on race day” rule. We had Denny’s before a $10k in Grand Junction and broke a crankshaft second round, then had it again a few months later before a $5k in Yakima and tore up a bunch of valvetrain that nearly dropped a valve. I wouldn’t call myself superstitious, but Denny’s is up 2-0 on me and I’m not going to take my chances again.
Do you love to win or hate to lose?
Love to win. Losing is part of bracket racing at a high level, just have to learn from every loss and have a good time doing it.
Which are you better at the starting line or the finish line?
Neither LOL. If I have to answer, probably the finish line, it’s hard to let go .00 or low-teen nine or ten times in a row.
What motivates you to continue racing?
The competition and the stakes, nothing better than going rounds at a big bracket race with the best drivers in the world when the stakes are high, it’s an atmosphere like no other. I also really appreciate the bond that it has created for my father and I, and our family.
Name one thing most people don’t know about you?
Big T-Swift fan, no better hype songs than some OG T-swift.
What’s your favorite track?
Bristol. Staging up in the valley aimed at a mountain with rolling green hills all around you is something every drag racer should get to experience.
Who would you like to thank, who helps you the most?
I’ve already talked about my dad plenty, so I’ll use this to shout out momma Kidd. My mom has spent her entire life following my dad around the country racing, and she continues to do so with my sister and I, she keeps our family together and keeps us focused on God and what’s really important.
I also have to thank my lovely girlfriend, Elena. I’m gone racing a lot of weekends and she’s never once complained, she always supports me and is there to cheer me on when she can be. A good support system makes all the difference.
I definitely need to thank Guess Who Racing and all my friends, especially “Funny Car Chris” Northup, Sam Northup, Seth Mclean, Andy & Jamie Schmall. Also need to thank Shane Thompson, Delbert, Jan, & Aaron Marcum, Allegiant Powder Coating, Robert Jones Realty, and Kidd Performance.
About the author: Megan Strassweg is a 22 year old Super Comp racer from Louisville, Kentucky. She races a 2015 American Dragster sponsored by Coolshirt Systems. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May of 2020 with a degree in Photojournalism and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Megan works at Jim Butner Auto in the Finance Department. Growing up at the racetrack, drag racing is all she has known and never plans to give up on it.