FREMONT, Ohio — For years, Cole Macedo found himself in the shadow of his older brother Carson, even as he began climbing the motorsports ladder in his own right.
Now, however, even as his brother has begun making waves on the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series trail, the younger Macedo is making a name for himself as well.
Cole Macedo is coming off his second 410 sprint car victory of the season, a commanding triumph at Fremont (Ohio) Speedway on Saturday. The triumph came during a makeup feature from the track’s April 24 program, which was interrupted by inclement weather.
The Lemoore, Calif., native — who turns 21 this coming Sunday — took the lead in the 25-lapper on the fifth lap around the third-mile dirt track and drove away from the competition after that.
Opening a lead of more than five seconds at times, Macedo took the checkered flag nearly a half-track in front of runner-up Stuart Brubaker.
It was a statement victory, Macedo said, adding that he feels like Saturday’s performance showcased what he and the Ray Brooks Racing No. 18 team can do.
“Man, Mike and Steven (Linder, crew members) are really good at what they do. I lived with the Linders last year, so I saw their maintenance program and all the stuff that nobody else sees during the week, and they take a lot of pride in what they do. They want to win, I feel like, more than anybody else here in Ohio, and that was my main goal was to race for them and win for them,” Macedo said. “They really want to succeed. Everybody has fun at the race track, but their fun is winning and that’s what I want to do.
“The only way to get to the next level is to win races. This year, Ray Brooks wanted to start a new team and they thought that I was the best driver to fit into the program and we’ve had some really good success for a new team so far,” Macedo added. “I’m having a blast and I think that we’re out here proving what we can do together. On Saturday, to be honest, I didn’t think that we had as big of a lead as we did. I actually felt like there was someone right behind me, so I was driving as hard as I could every single lap. When I got the five to go (signal), I finally relaxed a bit and believed I could do it.
“I guess I was probably driving harder than I needed to, but that shows how good our stuff is, I think.”
While Macedo admitted he still leans on his older brother for advice, he’s also pleased people are starting to bring his name into the conversation for his own driving talent, and not just because of the driver he’s related to.
“I think that Carson is a big reason why I drive the way I do, because I grew up watching him always give 110 percent, and doing that is what got him to the next level, in my opinion. Now I’m trying to do the same thing,” Macedo noted. “I call him a couple of times a week and we talk about what I can do better and I even tell him what he can do better. We’re just real honest with each other and I think it helps.
“That’s the main goal, is to not be in my brother’s shadow … and I don’t know if I really am as much as everybody jokes about, but I do want to make my own name and I feel like I’m slowly getting to that point now.”
Looking toward the summer months, Macedo tipped that he and the Brooks No. 18 will attend all the weekly shows at Fremont and Attica Raceway Park, where Macedo won in April, putting them in the mix for two track championships as well as the combined Attica Fremont Championship Series title.
He said the goal is simple: Win car owner Ray Brooks a championship, if not several, at year’s end.
“Ray took a chance on us and on me when he started this team and it would be awesome to repay him by winning a title this year,” Macedo said. “It won’t be easy, but we’ve got the confidence now and the momentum to go out and do something special if we can keep this up.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to do just that.”