Published On: Thu, Apr 6th, 2017

Boca Native Making a Name for Himself on His Way to Racing’s Biggest Stage

By: Amy Harrop

screen-shot-2017-04-17-at-4-22-32-pmDalton Sargeant is the definition of a well-rounded driver with experience well beyond his years. The 18 year old driver of the #77 ARCA Series Cunningham Motorsports Ford Fusion has been behind the wheel since his early childhood days, where he started racing go-karts with his brother. What started out as a fun activity soon became a lifestyle. As Dalton made more laps in a go-kart and started winning races, he developed an eagerness to win and accomplish even more within the sport. Continuously winning races is what fueled his drive and what ultimately led to Sargeant realizing that racing wasn’t just a fun activity, but a lifelong career. In addition to starting his career young, Dalton’s path led him in a different direction — open wheel racing.

In 2013, Dalton made the voyage over to Europe where he competed in the Euro Series in an open wheel car. When asked about the experience, Dalton has nothing but positive things to say. He says that it was a great experience and he felt as though both he and his brother were at the point in their careers where racing overseas made sense. Sargeant notes that the car control and the cars themselves is what appealed to him, and that racing stock cars and open wheel cars makes for completely different experiences behind the wheel — there’s a different attitude and feel about each type of car and competition among drivers. Dalton decided to head back to racing stock cars because he missed the competitiveness of the cars and the thrill of racing side to side with competitors. 2016 was Dalton’s debut year in the ARCA Series, and he didn’t disappoint.

Dalton finished eighth in the ARCA Series in 2016, earning Rookie of the Year Honors. He finished out the season with 1 win, 10 top 5 finishes and 12 top 10 finishes. His plan for 2017 is to run the full season and to become a contender for the championship at the end of the season. In addition to achieving greatness on the track, Dalton plans on achieving greatness in his personal endeavors as well.

In the past, Dalton has joined other drivers in visiting sick children in hospitals, among other various charity endeavors. Sargeant notes that it’s very important to be involved in the community and to be consistently reaching out to new fans in different communities. He strives to give back the support he receives as a driver to local communities and will continue to do so as his career progresses. Although racing is his full-time focus, Sargeant still has some time to enjoy other activities outside of the track.

Growing up in South Florida, Dalton has always been surrounded by water. His Instagram feed gives fans detail into his life by the water — whether that be wrestling alligators, enjoying a boat ride or spending some time fishing, he makes the best of his time away from the track. Dalton loves the outdoors and spends his free time hunting as well. When he sits back and reflects on his career thus far, there are a few moments that stick out to him as “cool” moments, like being mentored by four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon.

One surreal moment in his career occurred at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where Dalton received some helpful pointers from Jeff Gordon. He recalls thinking mid conversation about how cool it was to be standing there, having a chat with one of NASCAR’s most successful drivers. When asked what NASCAR driver, past or present, he would love to race alongside, he names Dale Earnhardt Sr. as being at the top of his list. He also has a lot of admiration for the late Tim Richmond, who also competed in both open wheel and stock car racing and was a legendary driver during his time. When he makes it onto the big stage in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series, Sargeant wants to make a statement in pre-race Driver Introductions. He can picture himself walking out in Bristol to ‘Back in Black’, an AC/DC classic. He says that it would be super cool to have that as his song — especially seeing that he drives a black car.  All fun questions aside, Dalton has some advice for young dreamers trying to find their way in the sport.

Dalton jokes that racing is a struggle, but then goes on to note that ultimately, hard work will get you places. Success in the points standings is measured by how well drivers perform on the track and what their finishing position is, but success as a driver means a lot more than where you finish. Sargeant says that you must put in the effort on and off the track — extra effort is what gets you further, allows you to stand out among the competition, and what ultimately leads to your success in the long run.

Dalton has undeniable talent, drive and the willingness to go the extra mile — all of which are great attributes that are sure to land him on the biggest NASCAR stage in the near future.

Check out Dalton’s next race on April 8th at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville and follow him on social media here:

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