(Special to Olivia Gentry)
Though 2017 is the first season Dustin Hughes has chased a national championship, the nineteen-year-old driver from Dothan, Alabama continues to make himself known in the NeSmith Performance Parts Street Stock Division ranks.
“Hot Rod Hughes” began his racing career at the young age of ten, gaining seat time in a four-cylinder car. Hughes proved to be a quick learner, as he was able to pick up a points championship at Dixieland Speedway within his first season of racing. From there, Hughes made the move into a Pure Stock, and was able to grab a win on his first night out in the new car.
Now Hughes has made the move to the NeSmith Performance Parts Street Stock Division and on most Saturday nights you will find him at East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City, Alabama. Hughes considers the 3/8-mile, high-banked clay oval his home track.
For Hughes, racing is second nature. From the time he was born, his family would spend their weekends at the track watching his dad race. However, Dustin Hughes lost two of his biggest supporters, his Ffather in 2012 shortly followed by his mother in 2014, but he still finds a way to make his racing happen.
“Yes, I’ve won a lot of races, but my favorite memories are racing with my Dad,” Hughes remarked.
Hughes continues to keep the family tradition alive by racing with the number X2 on the side of his car, a number he shares with his father.
“That (his parent’s passing) changed my life. Racing wasn’t easy, but we are finally back on the right track,” Hughes said looking back over the past few years.
Dustin Hughes has certainly proven that he is right on track, as out of the 14 races he has entered in his Corey Dunn Plastering, Deep South Tree Service, Reaper Racecar by Dustin Diem, he has finished in the top ten at 13 of those events. Hughes, with the help of his family and friends, currently sits fifth in the latest NeSmith Performance Parts Street Stock Division National point standings.
It is safe to say that Hughes’ parents would without a doubt be proud of his commitment, hard work, determination, and most importantly of their son.
NeSmith Racing and the NeSmith Performance Parts Street Stock Division is honored to be the racing series of choice for Dustin Hughes, and the many other competitors out there who share the same qualities that Hughes displays not just on race days, but every day.
Each month, the NeSmith Performance Parts Street Stock Division plans to highlight a driver, chosen by fans, in hopes of expressing our thanks to the amazing fans, drivers, and tracks within each division.
Congratulations Dustin Hughes, on being chosen as the June 2017 NeSmith Performance Parts Street Stock Division Driver of the Month.