'When it's done, we're father and son': Alma High's Colby Perkins is chasing legendary dad

George "Clay" Mitchell
Press Argus-Courier

Colby Perkins is born to race.

He's born to local racing legend Chris Perkins, who has won seven championships at area dirt tracks and over 500 races and events.

"When I'm out there, I'm racing against all his old times," Perkins said. "Some nights, we might be competitors, and when he's on the track, he's just another driver, but when it's done, we're father and son."

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The younger Perkins, who will be a senior at Alma High in the fall, has one championship back in 2019 and has collected five trophies so far. 

"I'll get comments from others like, 'how come you're not as good as your dad?' And I'll tell them I already got the first one," Perkins said. "That's just part of it. Some folks just want to see the great legend's kid, and when you're dad's a legend, you want to follow in his footsteps."

The Perkins have five other family members who race, as well, including stepbrother Brandon Garner.

"It seemed like every Saturday morning from March to October, we were at a race track to watch my dad and other family race," Perkins said. "Just been in love with it ever since."

This past week Perkins, raced three nights. He finished fifth during a two-day event at Tri-State Speedway just across the border in Oklahoma.

Perkins also took sixth at Crawford County Speedway. He races in both the Grand National and Front Wheel Drive classes and is currently ninth in the Grand National standings at CCS.

As for race days, Perkins' dad is there to help along the way. 

"The toughest thing for me is the patience," Perkins said. "In the aftermath of a race, we have to go back through and fix the car, find the parts or wait for the parts to arrive by mail. It's been tough this year."

Last summer, drivers were able to get back on the track after races were halted in March of 2020. Perkins said it was a relief to him, his family, and the fans to be able to be out on the track during the weekends.

"I like interacting with the fans," he said. "They're the ones that really make this worthwhile. There's just a lot of work that goes into getting a car ready each weekend. It's a lot more work necessary to just win $100. I'm not in it for the money, but to get more fans and more people involved in racing."

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While Perkins does have aspirations to eventually catch his father, his dreams aren't limited to just the local tracks.

"I would like to compete in the Late Model class and get on that circuit," Perkins said. "I would also like to get my NASCAR license and compete at that level."