After Going Back-to-Back in June, Appreciative Jett Praises Family and Sponsors for Outlaw Stocks Success
By Chuck Corder
It’s Sunday afternoon in Orange Park and Kody Jett is right where he loves to be: Attending to a hot grill and surrounded by those nearest to his Florida-sized heart.
A slab of marbleized steaks, baked potatoes, corn and asparagus all find their way onto the grill thanks to Jett.
These family feasts don’t happen as often as the Jetts would like because racing and running a successful family business can sometimes interfere.
“If I’m not pouring concrete, I’m at a racetrack somewhere,” said Kody Jett, who competes in the first-year Faith Chapel Outlaw Stocks class at Five Flags Speedway and oversees jobs across the southeast for Jett Concrete during the week.
So when these gatherings do occur, the 23-year-old Jett and wife Reba, expecting in the fall, like to go all out.
The family had ample opportunities to celebrate together last month. Jett owned June at Five Flags, winning both 35-lap features.
“It was unbelievable, to say the least,” Jett said. “It has easily been a dream come true.”
He’s hoping to keep the dream alive Friday night when the Faith Chapel Outlaw Stocks reconvene at the famed half-mile asphalt oval.
The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen, Pro Trucks and the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks also will battle during the track’s annual Meet the Drivers Night where Five Flags fans can shake the hands and pose for photographs with their favorite local hotshoes.
Drivers will sign autographs and hand out hero cards right alongside Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron, who guided Alabama to back-to-back national championships (2012-13) while the Tide’s starting signal caller.
Gates open at 4 p.m. Friday and admission is $10 for adults, seniors, military and students (ages 12-17); $5 for children ages 6 to 11; and free for kids 5 and under.
The Jett Concrete racing team is one the Five Flags faithful have gotten to know well over the last decade.
Kurt Jett, Kody’s older brother, won the 2007 Modifieds Snowball Derby and Jeff Choquette is in the seat for Jett Concrete’s late model program. Choquette won the most recent Deep South Cranes Blizzard Series race last month.
“My dad (Pat) never drove, but he always liked the sport,” Kody Jett said. “We just started racing. My brother (Kurt) got into a go-kart when he was 12 and by the time he was 15, I was in a go-kart and he was in an open-wheel modified.”
Kody Jett is in just his third year competing at Pensacola’s high banks. Before this season Jett drove Pro Trucks and ran once in a Pro Late Model.
He has found a home with the Faith Chapel Outlaw Stocks, a rookie division at Five Flags that is already wildly popular with fans and teams. While Jett has only raced in two of the class’ five features, both times he came away with the checkered flag.
“It’s my Pro Late Model, but we put a new body on it,” he explained, describing the car. “I really like this new class. I think it’s gonna be one of the most competitive classes there. There’s always a good car count. I think it’s the premier class when the late models aren’t racing.”
And Jett’s sharp-looking No. 9 was the cream of the crop in the month of June. He is quick to credit his newfound success to not only his family’s unconditional support, but also the sponsorships of Greg Janes’ Pensacola Racing Fabrication, Phil Harper Racing Engines, and Augie Grill’s Grand American Race Cars.
“When we unloaded the car for the first time, it was phenomenal,” Jett said. “We haven’t changed a thing — maybe just the rebound and a track bar adjustment. Other than that, put tires on it and go.”
It also doesn’t hurt having a perennial contender like Choquette right there in your pits to bounce ideas off of.
In addition to his Blizzard Series win in June, Choquette had a stretch of five consecutive victories in the Allen Turner Pro Late Models division last year.
“He’s a big help,” Jett said of Choquette. “If I have a question about anything, he’s on the radio to answer it.”
Winning streaks can be a blessing and a curse. With back-to-back trips to Victory Lane, Jett has quickly gone from one of the dogs to the rabbit now being hunted.
He seems to have his wits about him, though, and Jett hopes there are a few more chapters to his fairytale season.
“It’d be a dream come true,” he said, “if I could somehow win Outlaw Stocks race at the Derby.”