Get To Know Elvis “Lil King” Rankin

Elvis Rankin.

From my first time in a quarter midget race car, I knew I would never do anything else.

From my first race, I realized that competing makes me happy. That’s why my dream is to become a professional race car driver.

I know it’s not easy to achieve, but I believe my passion and daily dedication to racing can make this happen.

Hey, fellow racers and fans, I am Elvis Rankin. I am 12 years old and I live in New Mexico.

Everyone calls me “Lil King,” on and off the race track. It is a real honor to introduce myself to SPEED SPORT readers.

As a racer, I already have more than 50 wins in many different types of vehicles and a bunch of trophies and awards as well. Winning the 2016 USAC quarter midget Jr. Honda national championship is my favorite achievement.

Are you curious why?

That was when I realized that ‘Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.’ My mom, dad and grandparents are the real keys to my success, and I’m very thankful for their support.

Here are a few things you may or may not know about me off the track:

  • I am homeschooled
  • I am an avid gamer and I enjoy commentating live racing events
  • I was born with Celiac disease and in second grade was identified as Dyslexic. I refer to these as my “Super Powers.” They both help me remember every day that what might appear to be a curse can be quite a blessing.

My mom (Lisa) tells the story that I was about two hours old and her dad, my Grampy, asked if she was going to let me go-kart race. It was something he did as a teenager and young adult and always wanted my mom and uncle to do when they were growing up.

However, Grammy was not having it, and I can’t blame her.

Elvis Rankin trying one of his first quarter midgets.

Lucky for me, we stumbled across quarter midget race cars at a motorhome show in Denver, Colo. I was five-and-a-half years old. We spent that summer out at the race track most weekends, meeting other families and learning a lot about racing.

About a year later, I accepted an opportunity to “try it, see if you like it” in a quarter midget that was offered. I remember that feeling of being in the race car, the tight belts, the heavy helmet and the cool racing suit they let me borrow.

The gloves, the steering wheel in my hands, the pedals under my feet, the sound of the engine and the feeling of never wanting to get out of the car … I can’t seem to get enough of that feeling. I bet many of you can relate.

At age seven, my “crazy” parents bought me my first racing simulator and had to have a custom chassis made for me to use it. Three years ago, my grandparents bought be a Ricmotech full motion simulator. I am in that seat no less than four hours a day.

For the past year, I have been competing in the Ricmotech – XtremeMotorsports99 online sports car racing league on iRacing. I am super lucky to be sim racing with some of the best iRacers in the world and I recently won the Season 15 ST Open Class Championship.

Currently, I am competing in the same league now in the PRO Class where I won the first two races of the 16-race series. I am also competing in the GT Challenge in a Ferrari. My best finish to date is fifth.

I am adding two additional league races to my weekly competitions in the next month, Big C’s global Miata series and the LORA asphalt oval series.

People often describe me as “uber competitive” and “insanely consistent” in my performance.

What I like most about sim racing is the feedback and communication with the other drivers online. For me, there is so much more than just winning — it’s about making new friends all over the world, having fun and learning as much as I can about racing to be the best driver I can.

A Lucas Oil Formula Car.

This year, I plan to race in the Lucas Oil Formula Car Series and if I’m lucky, a Jr. Late Model race or two. For the first time, I am putting my focus on road course racing. In the past, I have always made oval racing my No. 1 choice.

There is a chance you will see me analyzing the MAVTV 51Fifty Jr. Late Model Series at California’s Madera Speedway.

I am looking forward to sharing more about me and about racing in general through articles, columns and videos on SPEEDSPORT.com. I welcome any questions you may have for me, along with ideas or interests you have for future articles.

You can learn more about me at www.ElvisRacing.com and please follow me on social media.

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