Kyle Vanderpool is a 27-year-old veteran of open-wheel racing from Madera, California. In recent years, Vanderpool has earned a great deal of his success behind the wheel of Penix Racing-owned supermodifieds at Madera Speedway and other tracks across the country.
Vanderpool, a successful ATV and flat-track motorcycle racer in his earlier years, has won every big supermodified race California’s Madera Speedway offers, including the Harvest Classic on two occasions and the Pombo Classic in 2012. He’s done this driving the Penix Racing Hyder chassis, a sharp-looking super built in 1994 and powered by a 410 cubic-inch small block Chevrolet.
The team first gained national super modified exposure in the fall of 2011, when Vanderpool and the Penix team traveled to Denver’s Colorado National Speedway, where the Englewood Racing Association (ERA) was enjoying one of their most competitive seasons in recent years. Vanderpool, an unknown on the Colorado supermodified scene, proceeded to best top Colorado runners Harold Evans, Richie Castor and others in the 25-lap ERA season closer. The win was Vanderpool’s first outside of his home state in his first attempt racing a super away from California.
In 2013 Vanderpool raced a lot outside of California. Fielding a new Belfab Racing Products supermodified, Vanderpool and the Penix Racing team traveled to Midwest Supermodified Associationa and International Supermodified Association events throughout the Midwest and New England.
The West Coast invaders turned some heads while racing in the East. Their shining moments were qualifying fourth for the Hy-Miler Nationals in July 2013 at Sandusky (Ohio) Speedway and starting last and finishing a strong eighth at the Thompson Speedway World Series of Racing in October. The Thompson run earned Vanderpool the event's Hard Charger award.
Kyle also finished fourth in an MSA main event at Sandusky in June of ‘13.
In 2014 Vanderpool focused on the six-race Sprint Car-Supermodified Challenge at Madera, which saw him win twice and never finish worse than second place! Vanderpool won the overall points by 25 markers over sprint car racer Tim Skoglund.
A new 2015 season has the Penix Racing aiming for a very busy schedule. The team now has a Beast sprint-car chassis and they’re ready to challenge the King of the Wing Western Sprint Car Series at Madera, plus the big West Coast Tour November 20-22 at Madera, Irwindale and Kern County (Bakersfield).
“Sprint car racing is pretty big out here and we wanted to become a part of it,” Kyle said. “We’ve done some testing with the sprint car and it’s gone well. We’re looking forward to getting things kicked off at Madera and hopefully we can become major players here when the big guns come to town in November.”
Later in the season the team has plans to return east with their 2012 Belfab supermodified to challenge the stars of the International Super Modified Association (ISMA). Vanderpool and Penix plan to compete for the first time at upstate New York’s Oswego Speedway — the longtime “Home of the Supermodifieds” — during Labor Day’s Classic Weekend and the ISMA SuperNationals, as well as returns to N.H.’s Star Speedway for the Star Classic in September and Thompson International Speedway in Connecticut for the World Series of Racing in October.
Schedule permitting, the team has ISMA’s pair of Ohio swings — at Lorain County Speedway in June and Sandusky Speedway’s Hy-Miler Nationals in July — on its radar, as well.
"Each year is a learning curve, and I think the biggest learning curve was completed in 2013," Kyle began. "I thought we had some great showings on the east coast, and even though we only had one top-five finish, we showed good speed at every race we attended. They were also some of the biggest races on the ISMA schedule - Sandusky, Star and Thompson - so when we return to those tracks, I feel like we will be ready to challenge right out of the box. I'm also looking forward to traveling to and racing at Oswego this year. It's the mecca for supermodified racing, and it will be great to add my name to the list of super racers who compete there."
Driver: Kyle Vanderpool Birthdate: May 23, 1988 Age: 27 Hometown: Madera, Calif. Currently Reside: Sanger, Calif. Marital Status: Married Occupation: Southern California Edison
Years in Racing: 11 Years in Supers: 7 Other racing experience: Quads TT & flat-track motorcycles throughout California in sancitions including CMA, ATVA, FMC, AMA Favorite Racetracks: Madera Speedway; Colorado National Speedway; O'Relly Raceway Park