Hometown: Decatur, IL
Car Owner: Mike Sandvig
Sponsors: A+ Power Washing, Hinchman Racewear, Butlerbuilt, DeBerg Concrete, DeBerg Floors
Bio: At 26 years of age, Kaley Gharst has had a career that some drivers can only dream of. After registering Quarter Midget Grand National and NMMA Jr. Sprint National Championships, Kaley tackled sprint cars at Knoxville age the age of 16. The year was a success, as Kaley took home both Rookie of the Year honors for the track and the Knoxville Nationals.
In 2006, Kaley grabbed his first Knoxville victory, and finished in the top ten in points. The following season was his best to date. Kaley expanded his racing to the 360 class, and won the Sprint Invaders Association championship and the Knoxville BRODIX Tournament of Champions in 2007. He won three races in four nights at Knoxville in August, taking a 360 Nationals prelim, the 410 feature on the Saturday before the Nationals, and the Tournament of Champions. He also claimed the 410 Lyle Boyd Hard Charger Award.
He repeated his Sprint Invaders title in 2010 and was runner-up in 2011. He is the all-time leading feature winner with that series. In 2014, partnering with car owner, Mike Sandvig, he won the championship with the Jackson Sprint Touring Series.
It all started at the age of 4 when Berl Gharst, Kaley’s father, purchased a quarter midget for young Kaley. This was 1993 and Kaley began racing as many quarter midget races as his family could do, traveling all over the country and even winning the “Dirt Grands” in Hagerstown, MD in ’96. He set many records, some that still stand today, in the quarter midget with driving Coach Odie Triplett on his side. We won the Quarter Midget National Championship in 1996 as well as winning the Junior Stock Grand Nationals.
In 1997, Kaley and family figured it was time to move up to the Junior Sprint division. In only his first year, seven year old Gharst finished fifth in the Nation with the NMMA. The following year of ‘98 gave him multiple wins and track records as well as the NMMA National Championship along with two State Championships.
Kaley then went into the played around for a year racing all over the country with the INEX Bandolero Series winning State Championships in both Indiana and Illinois which was enough time to realize that the Mini Sprint division was next in line.
In 2000, at the young age of 12, Kaley began his 600cc Mini Sprint career. He was very dominating throughout the three years he competed in the series racing once again all over the upper Midwest. In the first ever 600 outlaw Nationals, Kaley scored an eighth place finish against hundreds of other competitors.
Now at the age of fifteen and old enough to get behind the wheel of a full size sprint car, Kaley and his father purchased a car from Dave and Blake Fleese and began racing at the local Danville, IL track. He only raced a few shows in the Illinois and Missouri are the next couple years until 2005 when he met up with Bob Brooks at Knoxville Raceway, the “King Track” of Sprint Car Racing.
Brooks and Gharst teamed up and Kaley began racing the Knoxville weekly program. 2005 marked a great season for Kaley at the legendary facility as he earned the Knoxville Raceway Rookie of the Year honors as well as the very prestigious Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year, at only 17 years old.
From then until now, Kaley has been behind the wheel all over the country for various car owners including 2 trips to Australia during the off season here in the states. He has won the North American 360 Driver of the Year Award, Most Exciting Performer Award, Brodix Tournament of Champions Nationals, Driver of the Year (twice) in Sprint Invaders Sprint Series, as well as numerous Main Events, Hard Charger Awards, Series Championships and more. Look for Kaley as the years unfold, as you will only be seeing him towards the front of whatever Series or Sanctioning Body he may be racing with.
No favorite information
No recommendation information