81-Year-Old Driver to Become Oldest Ever to Race at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway

by Madison Miller

James Climer is consistently proving that living out your dreams and doing what you love happens to have no age limit. The 81-year-old will be making history at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway later this season in the pro late models division. He’s first starting out with a 50-lap race on April 2 at the Highland Rim Speedway.

According to Tennessean, he is getting the honor of being the oldest driver at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway after the race on April 16. The oldest person to ever win a race at the Fairgrounds was Dick Stegall when he was 68. Climer is no stranger to action-packed races.

He even has the nickname “King” due to his royal status as a beast in local races over the years. Those local races haven’t just been a couple here and there, either. He’s competed in thousands of races during his long, prosperous life.

Now, after being cooped up from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Climer is ready to kick his life back into high gear. He’s got big plans. He’s been revving at the chance to get back out there.

“I’ve stayed at home and I’ve worn my mask anytime I’ve gone out. That’s something you’ve got to do until we get this stuff straightened out. I don’t mind that at all, but I don’t like staying at home. I’m ready to get back out. I feel good and I want to race again so why not?” Climer said to the news outlet.

James Climer Future and Past Racing Career

His racing season is going to be reliant on a number of different factors. For starters, he’s going to take it slow and start with the Highland Rim and Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway races. Then, the rest of his season could either end or continue depending on how he does.

If all goes well, Climer says he’ll “stick with it the whole season.” We hope to see him fulfill his dreams to the best of his ability.

Climer has a racing history that stretches back to a time in which current NASCAR stars weren’t even born. Especially since we’ve had a wave of younger drivers in recent years. Chase Elliott, the 2020 Cup Series champion, raced at Nashville Fairgrounds when he was only 13.

For Climer, he started racing in 1964 at the Smyrna dirt track. He raced thousands and thousands of times before hanging up his helmet (temporarily) in 2010. He has had over 600 wins as he competed all across the country. Climer is also very familiar with Nashville Fairgrounds Superspeedway. He’s won many track titles there and even beat his son, Tommy, in a race there in 1995. All that history landed him a spot in the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Hall of Fame.

For racing fans, his return to the track is going to be epic and emotional.