The Honda engineer joins TC America after multiple SCCA Runoff Championships, making his debut in the TCA class with new Honda Civic SI TCA. Kevin has also shown his racecraft in sim racing, finishing 2nd in two rounds of the GT Rivals Esports Invitational on a home engineered sim rig. Learn more about Kevin on this week's Driver Download.
Team: CrowdStrike Racing / AWS with support by DXDT Racing
Car: Honda Civic Si TCA
Hometown: Wilkesboro, NC, currently living in Columbus, OH
Birthday Month: October
Favorite Track: Nurburgring Nordschleife
Daily Driver: 2020 Honda Civic Si Dream Car: Ferrari F40
Racing Hero: Norbert Singer
Favorite Food: Short Ribs
Favorite Hobby: Race cars.
Occupation: Test Engineer/Driver at Honda R&D Americas
Favorite Vacation Spot: Mountains, ocean, or both!
Pet’s names: Buster the Beagle
First Car: 1991 VW Jetta
Favorite Movie: Inception
Favorite TV Show: Westworld
Tell us about your debut weekend at COTA?
COTA was a learning experience for me. It was my first event with TC America and my first event with a brand new Honda Racing/HPD Turn-key Honda Civic Si race car. Until that event, the car had never been driven on track before. Coming out of the weekend with two podium finishes was a real treat.
How did you get into racing?
My dad is a car nut and was a very competitive drag racer. Growing up, there were always various forms of racing on the TV, so I had a respect for nearly all disciplines of racing. After attending a local Porsche Club Race in high school, I was determined to not only race myself one day, but I also decided that I wanted to go to college and pursue a career in Mechanical Engineering so I could learn to make race cars go faster. I was the first person in my immediate family to go to college--once I understood that a degree could help me reach my goals, I was determined to get one. I already had an interest in math and science at that point, so I doubled down. It really set the tone for how I approach racing, even today. Physics and calculus play a huge part, as well as a systematic, rational approach to both racing and race car engineering.
What is your favorite racing memory?
My first SCCA National Championship at Daytona is my favorite memory. I made a surprising last lap pass coming out of the bus stop and knew I had won it before crossing the finish line. It looked like the leader on the last lap had the race wrapped up, so the TV coverage was watching the battle for 3rd and the pass wasn’t caught on video. Everyone was surprised when I was the first car to the checkered flag--including myself.
What’s the story behind your helmet design?
Right now, my helmet is red, white, and blue for my longtime sponsor, Red Line Oil. We’ve been working together since my club racing days and they chose to come with me to professional racing. Navigating a new series can be intimidating, and having the support of a long-time sponsor makes me feel like I have an old friend by my side in a very new place. It’s been great having them along for the ride.
Something interesting about you or a hidden talent?
I was a very competitive soccer player through high school and was being encouraged to take it to the next level. I had some injuries my senior year--without those, I may not have chosen a path to pursue racing. I think it worked out for the best!
If you could invite 3 people to dinner who would it be and why?
John Force without a doubt. He is one of the coolest personalities I have ever seen in motosports and his origin story is incredible. Norbert Singer would be another great addition as his success in motorsports as an engineer will likely never be eclipsed. Jackie Stewart would be awesome as well. I would love to talk to him about his time in Formula 1.
Does any of your work as an engineer for Honda apply to your TCA Car?
Generally, my role at Honda is to take a car that is 2-3 years ahead of production and help develop it into a finished product for consumers. The TCA Civic is already developed, so there isn’t a lot of opportunity to develop it further due to the limitations in the homologation. Instead, I focus most of my energy trying to optimize allowed adjustments in the car to maximize performance.