King Leads At Big O Before Overheating Issue Returns

ENNIS, Texas – Michael King Jr. was on his way to his third dirt late model win of the season Saturday night when overheating issues scuttled his efforts for the second race in a row.

Racing at Big O Speedway, King set the fastest lap in time trials, but a scoring glitch led the 23-year-old to start second in the 15-lap main event at the quarter-mile clay oval.

King jumped to the lead on the second lap and paced three circuits early, but saw his engine temperature rise rapidly just past the one-third mark of the feature.

He faded back just outside the top three before ultimately taking his car to the infield to prevent any terminal engine damage. Due to extreme attrition in the main, King still recorded a fifth-place result despite the DNF.

While he was disappointed to lose a potential victory for the third straight race weekend, King remains encouraged by the consistent speed his No. 14jr team continues to bring to the racetrack each week.

“It’s really unfortunate to have the same issue two weeks in a row while we’ve been running so well,” noted King. “The good news is that the results [on paper] aren’t speaking to how fast we are. I’m really proud of our family team for working hard and putting together really strong race cars every time out.

“We’re hoping for some better luck this coming weekend and being able to get this monkey off our back to get back to victory lane.”

King would like to thank APE Engines, PPG Paint, Thurmon’s Heat & Air, M&A Wrecker Service, Advanced Specialized Services LLC, J&J Motorsports, ML Performance, Next Level Designs, SUPE, Team 5 Enterprise, Team Forty-Eight Motorsports, Thrifty Liquor, Race Face Brand Development, and the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation for their partnership and support.

King will be back at the racetrack on Saturday, June 29. Details on the track he’ll race at will be shared in due course.


About Michael King Jr.

Michael King Jr. is a 23-year-old dirt late model and dirt modified racer from Paducah, Ky., who now calls El Dorado, Ark., home. He’s in the midst of his sixth season of racing with his family-owned and operated team, spearheaded by his parents – Michael Sr. and Leslie.

King started in the front-wheel drive class in 2018, collecting 14 wins in his rookie season, including highlight victories during the Louisiana State Championship Race at Boothill Speedway and the Spooky 50 weekend at Super Bee Speedway.

He advanced into Limited Modifieds in 2019, and has racked up eight victories in the class, as well as the 2020 Super Bee Speedway track championship.

His late model tenure took off in 2022, and he debuted with the Titan Legends Late Model Series the next year, where he contended for rookie-of-the-year honors and narrowly missed out to Preston Farmer. King has also made two appearances at the prestigious Gateway Dirt Nationals in St. Louis, Mo.

King’s family is no stranger to racing, either, as his mother Leslie is a longtime shock builder under the ShocKing Shocks banner.

He counts dirt late model legend Don O’Neal and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson among his racing inspirations, and away from the racetrack, King is a supporter of the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation’s efforts in the fight against pediatric cancer.

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