Gullett Is Youngest Auburndale Speedway Winner


Not gender, age, a stick shift nor a wall has stopped race car driver Kimberly Gullett The Lake Gibson High School sophomore won the 2010 Scrambler championship by more than 100 points in her first full season at the Auburndale Speedway. The daughter of Kim and Scott Gullett, she won six feature races and tallied eight heat wins, bouncing back from smashing into the wall in 2009.

Gullett, who turned 16 shortly after winning the title on Nov. 20, was the only female racer in her class and the first to win any kind of season championship at Auburndale since 1955. She’s the youngest ever to take an overall championship at the speedway.

“She’s a very good, very talented, good clean driver,” said Auburndale Speedway public relations specialist Julius Bruce, who has been at the track since the 1950s.

Sitting outside her family’s shop in the woods of North Lakeland with braces, blue fingernail polish and the No. 28 hanging on her necklace, Gullett appeared relaxed. But once the flag drops, she’s all gas on the speedway.

“She’s a little sweetheart, the guys say, but she can sure drive,” Bruce said.

The 16-year-old comes from a racing family.

Kimberly follows in her father’s footsteps. He raced the Figure 8 and Sportsman classes since 1986 while great-grandad Tom Scruggs ran late models.

Once she got past the noise of racing go karts, Gullett took third in her first year and second in her second year on the dirt track. At age 14, she moved up to the four-cylinder Scramblers. The Scrambler class is open, meaning anyone can run in it – and many do. Over the past year, a 17-year-old male and 18-year-old male ran in the class. The rest of the 14-20 or so drivers were adult men.

“Most of her competitors respect her, but some are a little rough,” Scott Gullett said.

But it doesn’t seem to faze her.

“I’ve learned I’ve got to fight back even though I’m the girl,” Kimberly said. “I’m not giving in after all the beating and banging this year.”

In 2009, Kimberly’s first car, an automatic Cavalier, wasn’t fast enough.

After a few races against her father, who was always too far ahead, Kimberly asked for his faster Mazda.

Scott let her have it. But Kimberly had to learn to drive a stick, which she did in one day.

“That night she took fifth (out of 14),” Scott said.

Last year, Kimberly was running third in a feature race when something broke on a passing car. The two cars somehow hooked together and Kimberly went crashing head-on into the wall.

Kimberly had bitten through her tongue. She suffered bruises up and down her chest from her harness and belts. She had a bruise under her chin from her helmet.

Just coming off the track was more painful, in another sense.

“I told my dad to find me a car,” she said. “I’m ready to go back.”

She came back three months after her father found her a new car.

She was ready to hit the gas in 2010 with a 1995, four cylinder Honda Civic.

“I had the huge desire to win this year,” she said.

Gullett finds the best groove and goes.

“If it’s there and you’re in the way, you’re spinning,” she said.

With a Mac Daddy chassis, tires from Stellar Automotives, Steve’s Auto Parts, Phantom Graphics, Gullett’s Energy Roof Coatings and help from God, Kimberly can’t wait for Saturday to come so she can race.

My (school) friends sometimes get aggravated because I’m always talking about racing," she said.



Gullett, who turned 16 shortly after winning the title on Nov. 20, was the only female racer in her class and the first to win any kind of season championship at Auburndale since 1955.
Didn’t think Auburndale Speedway’d been around that long…?? Thought it opened in like '74 or something.


Auburndale Speedway was once Winter Haven Speedway and back in the day it was a dirt track. I remember my uncle racing on dirt when I was about 6 or 7 years old (44 now). Congrats to kimberly on your championship, very nice and polite kid that doesn’t take any crap from the men on the track.

Congrats Kim. You now have 1 more season points title than me and your dad put together. Scott, Where did she learn to drive? I’m sure it couldn’t have been from you.

It has been there since the 50’s. Started out as dirt not sure when they paved it. The old lakeland track opened in '74.

same place but the dirt track was closer to the road.


Way to go. Sounds like she has a great furture in racing. But Aaron Williamson was 15 when he won the 4 cycle bomber class championship in 2001

To win a championship is a a huge accomplishment and to do it at 15-16 years old is very impressive! Congrats!


Congratulations Kim. Excellent work.