Day Motor Sports Driver Profile: Chase Hatton caps solid season at The Shootout

DE BERRY, Texas — In the talent-filled region of south Texas, there are a handful of racers who run wide open from early February through mid-December. They never seem to run out of energy; putting up big numbers while competing against some of the most competitive drivers in the entire state. 

A perfect example is 32-year-old Chase Hatton, who went on a tear driving four different cars this year. The easy-going wheel-man earned an impressive 15 wins, 34 top-five and 47 top-10 finishes in 91 combined starts (Limited, Modified, Pro Mod, Factory Stock). 

This weekend, Hatton, an eight-year employee of IRP Racecars, will cap his stellar year at the famed South Texas Shootout in Corpus Christi with a run for the money in Limited Modifieds. 

“I probably ran triple-duty about four nights total,” Hatton said. “The rest of the times, it was two cars. We would have liked to finished up front more often in the Factory Stock, but we got that Cajun Classic win, which was the biggest yet of my career. 

“The Pro Mod has been real successful the last couple of years. We kind of pushed it off to the side the second half of the season. Thanks to some incredible sponsors, I got busy driving the Twomey Motorsports Modified. The Factory Stock I drive belongs to Billy Taylor, and we have a new motor program in place for 2024.”

Now wrapping up his 12th year of racing, Hatton has paid his dues and then some. 

“I actually started out in a Modified in 2011,” he explained. “I did Karts and motorcycles before that, but that was when it really got started on the ovals. I kind of dabbled in that class for a little while; I had an old HOT car we had acquired from a lady who was in the middle of a divorce. 

“We ended up wrecking it, and as I was looking for another Modified, I heard from Jason (Ingalls) who said he had one available sitting out here that just needed a little work. So I bought it and raced it for a number of years. Eventually, I sold it and was pretty much out of  ride for a while.” 

Yet sure enough, a member of the area’s most prominent racing families came calling to save the day. 

“So about five years ago, it just kind of worked out that I started driving for Mr. Ray Ingalls. He was just kind of out of a driver at the time, so I asked him if I could drive his car. He said sure, and I told him I wanted to do the Pro Mod deal. He told me to build it the way I wanted; so that’s what I did. 

“The wins in that car made it easier for people to notice me, which allowed me to get the Factory Stock ride and now the Modified to drive. So that opportunity with Ray really launched my career. Having access to this family and working here at IRP is a huge advantage. I get to meet a lot of good people.” 

And it’s not just the people he enjoys at IRP, the job allows him to keep up with an ever-changing sport.

“You get to keep up with the latest and greatest technology, since that’s what Jason wants for his racers. The whole Ingalls family knows race cars inside and out; they know what to do make them perform. I maintain the Modified, Pro Mod and the Limited here myself, and Billy works on the Factory Stock.” 

Since it was the division that exposed his enormous talents, Hatton is high on the mighty Pro Mods. 

“There’s definitely 10 guys out there who can win on any given weekend,” he said. “They can make you work for a position or a win, for sure. The biggest reason I wanted to get into Pro Mods is the rules package. It’s far less restrictive than a Limited. 

“With a Pro Mod, if your bar is the right length and you meet weight requirements, you’re ready to go. We’ve definitely had real good luck with it in the last couple of years; I think in 2021 we ended up running 29 races, and won 24 of them. That was the best year of my career.” 

With three different race cars at his disposal, Hatton gets to wheel some very well-built machinery. 

“The Factory Stock is a Lazer chassis that came from Chad Callender,” he explained. “And of course both the Limited Mod and Modified are IRP chassis. I was blessed to drive some nice cars this year.” 

Along with his amazing driving skills and great car owners, Hatton has ample support in his corner. 

“I want to thank all of our great sponsors, including IRP Racecars, Twomey Trucking and Motorsports, Big Dave’s Racing Engines, Mac Tools by Robbie Bradley; Smelley Welding and Fabrication, Glass Services, Twin City Towing, Crow Towing, Club 20 Suspension, Mo Bags Suspension, Getmycdl.com, Carthage Mechanical Solutions, Ray Ingalls Racing, One3 Designs and Billy Taylor Motorsports. 

“I also want to thank my Crew, including my Dad, David Hatton; Rick Shoup, Billy Taylor and Willow. I appreciate their help more than they know.” 

After a busy, yet rewarding season, Hatton is ready to cap it off with a good run in Corpus. 

“We’ll just be running the Limited this weekend,” he said. “The loaner motor we had for the Factory Stock from Big Dave that we won the Cajun classic with was no longer available. Since they run IMCA type Mods down there, our car isn’t within their rules. I’m happy to focus on one car for this event.  

“I think our chances are just as good as anybody. This car has been good right out of the box. We’ve only raced it two full nights; we finished second one night and got wrecked out at Highway 19 a couple of weeks ago. But I think we have a real good chance to make a good showing at the Race Ranch.”

By Phil Whipple, RaceON.com Staff Writer
Photo by Scott Burson