2023 CARS Tour Pro Late Models at Dillon Motor Speedway

Meet The 12-Year-Old That Just Won A CARS Tour Pro Late Model Race

Meet The 12-Year-Old That Just Won A CARS Tour Pro Late Model Race

Meet Tristan McKee, the 12-year-old driver that just became the youngest CARS Tour winner of all time in Saturday's race at Dillon Motor Speedway.

Jun 13, 2023 by Rob Blount
Meet The 12-Year-Old That Just Won A CARS Tour Pro Late Model Race

It’s safe to say that not many people knew Tristan McKee’s name before Saturday’s CARS Tour Pro Late Model race at Dillon Motor Speedway. Well, after that race plenty of people know his name after McKee became the youngest winner in CARS Tour history at just 12 years old. So just who is 12-year-old Tristan McKee?  

McKee is from Williamsburg, Virginia, and he’s been racing for the last eight years. Which, to be clear, means that he’s been racing since he was four years old. He started racing flat karts on dirt before moving into Bandoleros.

After a few short years in Bandoleros it was off to a full-size race car. McKee made his first start in a Late Model in the summer of 2021 when he was just 10 years old.

Fast forward to last Saturday, and there was McKee battling for the win with 20-year-old Ashton Higgins at Dillon Motor Speedway. If you didn’t know McKee’s age, you would have thought the youngster was a wily veteran. 

McKee passed Higgins cleanly for the lead for the first time with 19 laps to go. Higgins immediately slammed McKee in the back bumper and moved McKee’s No. 7 machine up the race track to take the lead back. Two laps later and McKee was once again underneath Higgins without contact being made. After McKee finished the pass, Higgins again hit him in the back bumper, but this time McKee was able to drive away.

“I always try to be better than them and race as cleanly as possible,” said McKee. “If you race them clean, then they should race you clean back. So I always try to race everybody with respect.”


VIDEO: Watch highlights from the CARS Tour Pro Late Model race at Dillon Motor Speedway.

After finally securing the lead with 15 laps to go, McKee drove away from the field to take the win by 1.9 seconds over points leader Katie Hettinger. The win made McKee the youngest victor in CARS Tour history. But you wouldn’t know that McKee just made history by his cool demeanor in victory lane.

“I was trying not to cry,” McKee said. “I was so happy.”

McKee said his long-term goal is to make it to the upper levels of NASCAR. His goal is currently off to a good start. In six CARS Tour races this season, McKee has two top-five finishes and four top-10 finishes. In addition to his victory at Dillon, McKee finished fourth on the big stage at North Wilkesboro Speedway against a stout field of 50+ drivers, including drivers from NASCAR's top three series. He is currently sitting third in the CARS Tour Pro Late Model championship points standings.

Race fans can watch Tristan McKee in every CARS Tour Pro Late Model race live on FloRacing. The next stop for the Pro Late Model divisions will be North Carolina’s Caraway Speedway on Wednesday, June 28. Race fans can subscribe to FloRacing by clicking here.