Close this search box.

NO SITTING AROUND: Work Never Stops For Zach Daum, But Winning Helps

Zach Daum

Zach Daum can’t stop. As he said, you’ll never find him sitting around “with his thumb up his ass.”

Between running a Speed Shop and working on two cars – and helping others – the Pocahontas, IL native always keeps his hands, feet and mind busy, whether at or away from the racetrack.

Currently, he gets to do so with a smile after winning back-to-back Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota events; also bringing Trifecta Motorsports its first national Midget win in the process.

However, at the moment, the defending Xtreme Outlaw Midget champion is not sure which car he’ll be in when the Series returns at Doe Run Raceway on Friday, July 21 – his own or one for Trifecta. Either way, he won’t be sitting around “with his thumb up his ass” until then.

“This [six-week] break couldn’t have come, for me, at a better time,” Daum said. “I’ve got a new car sitting here right now. Guys I drove for during the USAC races, they’re from Texas, he bought a King (Chassis) car off of Keith (Kunz) a little bit ago. He had a car sitting there, so I did a race car [deal] we all do. I’ll end up replacing this car for him. But he got me a car to run for a little while.

“It’s basically my car now. I just have to replace it. I’ve ordered all the parts, everything I messed up at Millbridge (Speedway, after the bad wreck). I’ve got everything ordered, parts to go back together with that car. It’s just a matter of putting everything back together at this point. Not a huge deal. Just putting everything together and going from there.”

Daum initially had no plans to run his own Midget or even compete full time on a national Midget tour at the beginning of the season. He intended on only running his Sprint Car and maybe run a handful of Midget events if someone provided a car. Then, the opportunity to be the only King Chassis builder/dealer in the United States popped up. And then, a deal to work with Jeff Taylor and Rick Young’s team, helping field their car for Landon Brooks, developed, which also led to them supplying a motor for Daum.

READ MORE: Zach Daum Returns to Defend Xtreme Midget Title, Building New Zealand-Brand King Chassis

“We’ve done all of this since Chili Bowl,” Daum said. “The first race was in March, so had basically a couple of weeks to put together two teams. Which they already had a lot of their stuff, it was just getting all their stuff in one area, figuring out what they have and what I have. It all came together really quickly.”

Zach Daum wins at Wayne County Speedway

Before picking up back-to-back wins, Daum’s first half of the season was a roller coaster of strong finishes and head-hanging results. Fast defined most nights when he wasn’t battling engine issues.

“Every night we replaced something electrical, replaced everything that bolts on the engine,” he said. “Can’t seem to figure it out. Some nights it runs fine. Some nights it doesn’t run well at all. I felt like we gave one away at [Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55] because the motor wouldn’t run there. We broke a rocker arm qualifying at Humboldt (Speedway) and were behind the 8 Ball all night there. I pulled off at [Southern Illinois Center] because it wasn’t running. Just been plagued with dumb issues. Just stuff that is out of your control… Hopefully Eric at Stanton (Racing Engines) can figure that out now and if I do have to run my own stuff the rest of the year, we can do it without any headaches.”

The chance to drive the #7U for Trifecta Motorsports was a chance to relieve that headache for a weekend and a chance to breath during his hectic weeks of balancing racing and a business (5d Speed Shop).

“I’ve always done my own stuff,” Daum said. “Always drove my own truck and trailer. Done my own maintenance. Done everything. Normally it is me, my wife and my two-year-old son that go racing. I don’t have a pit crew. I don’t have help. Luckily, I make buddies with all the other crew guys and say, ‘Hey, if I’m in the hot pit, come help me.’ And when the tables are turned and I’m not racing I want to help them. Just one of them deals where when they asked me to drive that (#7U car) because it was kind of a no-brainer to a point.

“I still have to take care of Landon’s car. Still have to go to the races with a truck and trailer. At the end of the day, Landon is a really good kid, and he wants to learn. So, I’ve been able to teach him how to do the maintenance, how to do the car, how to do everything. He still doesn’t do it all, but he does more than 90 percent of what the other kids out there do. He’s learning how to do that so I can do the motor maintenance and keep him down the right path. I still want to do something. I don’t want to just sit at the racetrack with a thumb up my ass. Still like to do something. But just that stress of having to do everything on my car, everything on his car, worry about lunch, worry about fuel for the generator. All the little things you don’t think about. Where now I can just… the stress rolls off of you a little bit easier and you can jump in.”

Daum currently sits fifth in Series points – 270 points behind leader Cannon McIntosh. No matter which path he’ll take when the season resumes in July, he’ll be ready and eager to keep his hands, feet and mind busy.

“There’s a lot of really good racetracks on the schedule left,” he said. “Everything in Pennsylvania is going to be really cool. I’ve been out there a couple of different times. Those are going to be really good tracks. Doe Run… I used to race Micros there and it was really really fun back then. I think that is going to be really cool.

“It’s also cool to go and see different racetracks, different cultures. Just a lot of fun. Just get to bring in different fans. The most time people hear about a Midget race is the Chili Bowl or at the Dome when they ran them there. Then, there’s nothing else going on and they kind of forget about Midgets during the wintertime again. If we can prove to people that we do race these outdoors and it is pretty good racing, it is only going to help the fanbase overall.”

For the full 2023 Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota schedule, CLICK HERE.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch every Xtreme Outlaw Midget race live on DIRTVision.

Zach Daum 5d