Day Motor Sports Driver Profile: Klayton Reeves gears up for all-out effort in 2024

WAXAHACHIE, Texas — Every now and then, you’ll have one of those years you’d rather just put in the books. One where very little goes right, and just about everything that could go wrong, does. Yet you somehow march forward, knowing things are bound to improve when it’s your turn to shine. 

For 24-year-old Sport Mod racer Klayton Reeves, 2024 could be that breakout season. He raced a lot less than he’d have liked in 2023, scoring one win and nine top-10 finishes in 14 starts. He was in a bit of a slump, yet this year is making a significant effort to get things turned around and back on track. 

“Last year was an up and down season for us, and a little rough in general,” Reeves said. “We were in the middle of having a baby and buying a house. So we didn’t get to race as much as we would have liked. But on the nights that we did race, we found a lot of speed. 

“I felt like we were pretty consistent, we just never had the luck go our way. That’s kind of been the story of my career, to be honest. We’ve had some really fast hot rods, some very good help and several strong performances, but we just fell short a couple of times. We hope this is the year to change that.” 

Now about to begin his fourth season on the ovals, Reeves has been solid as he’s honed his skills. 

“Before I climbed into a car, I had absolutely no experience in oval racing,” he explained. “I came from the sport of motocross, so that was my deal before cars. When I got out of college, I was looking for something that was a little bit easier on the body. 

“We came into this sport not knowing really where to start. We had a lot of help from Jake Upchurch and Jacob Pirkle, who, along with Kevin Speaks, guided us in the right direction. We picked up a 2019 car to get started, and we ran it for a year. After it got updated, it was a rocket. I started to figure it out.”

Wherever Reeves unloads in North Texas, he faces some of the toughest competition in the nation. 

“There are a lot of fast guys in this area, especially at Kennedale,” he said. “With Devils Bowl closing, a lot of those guys are going to end up at Kennedale on a Saturday night. So that’s going to stack the field even more. I’m sure we’ll see Cody Smith more often, Steven Ashcraft, and a bunch of others.

“We’ve got a tough field of our own; I know Brandon Geurin will be coming up from Waco once in a while this year, along with guys like Jeff Shepperd, Trey Votaw and Alex Hickham. When you add all that talent from Central Texas to the guys we already have up here, it’s about as tough as it ever gets.”

When Reeves puts on his helmet this year and gets ready to race, he’ll climb into a state-of-the-art car. 

“We just picked up a new car from Justin Long and his guys over at Generation Race Cars,” he said. “We looked at their success rate from last year, and knew that was the way we wanted to go. They’ve built some very fast cars lately, and we wanted something that could put us up front each week. 

“My Dad and Kevin Speaks build our engines, we’ll have plenty of power like we’ve had in the past. In fact, now, we’ll have the chassis to contain all that power. And guidance from Justin to get it dialed in for us, which is priceless to any race team with a new car. I’m beyond excited to compete with this car.”

Along with his knowledge, experience and red-hot new car, Reeves also has strong support behind him.

“I really need to thank my Pops with R3 Motorsports,” he said. “I’ll also thank Kevin Speaks with Speaks Automotive, Jake Upchurch at C&P Pump, Jacob Pirkle at Undercover Shocks; Generation Race Cars, Twisted Rooster Racing, Billy Vest at Dirt Defender; Texas CryoWorks and Wellness; PJS Racing, KSP Race Engines, Copper Head Claims, X-treme Graphics, J-Mac Bodies and NXT Level Epoxy.” 

With a brand new car and brand new season just around the corner, Reeves is making his plans.  

“Going into this year, I want to be more consistent and be up there in the top three more often,” he said. “We’re shooting to earn a couple more wins, and to be better prepared for tough competition. We’ll have a little more horsepower, and a brand new car we that know is capable of winning races.

“We plan on racing a lot more this year, we’ll try to run a lot of different tracks. We’ll be racing at Boyd,  Kennedale, which is obviously our home track; as well as occasional trips to Waco and maybe up into Oklahoma a little. We have a busy year planned, but at the same time we’ll have some big fun doing it.”

By Phil Whipple, Staff Writer
Photo by Mike Frieri