Why Kaden Honeycutt is Only Kind Of Racing at The Derby

The 19-year-old will test for Corey Heim at Jett Motorsports on Thursday.

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When Super Late Models unload on Wednesday in advance of Snowball Derby practice on Thursday, Kaden Honeycutt will once again be amongst those preparing to turn laps but with no plans to take the green flag on Sunday.

After leading laps and finishing in the top five two years ago, Honeycutt does not have a Derby ride this December but agreed to dial in the Larry Blount Motorsports No. 21 until Corey Heim returns from the NASCAR Truck Series banquet that night.

It’s a ‘thank you’ of sorts from Honeycutt to the Jett Motorsports -- whom oversees the No. 21 for team owner Larry Blount.

"It might be a little heartbreaking because if we're fast, and I already know it's a great car, and I know I could do something with it," Honeycutt said. "It's the first time we haven't raced the Derby in four years. I grew up racing that track and I love that race so much.

"Hopefully we can make it happen next year, but I really wanted to help Patt Jett and Jett Motorsports when they asked me. They've done so much for me this year having me race for them in a lot of different cars. So, I can certainly give them my best to make sure Corey has a great mock-up car and race trim for Sunday."

Honeycutt split most of this season in CARS Tour and in the NASCAR Truck Series and securing a full-time ride in the latter with On Point Motorsports for next year has been his focus all autumn even at the expense of the Derby.

"We should have everything done there by the middle to end of December," Honeycutt said. "That’s our goal. It’s not 100 percent done but it looks really promising and almost there."

Honeycutt also sees the value of getting back behind the wheel of a Super Late Model this week too – even if he can’t race.

"You never want to go too long between starts in a type of car just to keep that muscle memory sharp," he added. "And I’d like to come back and race with these guys here too so just being familiar with their cars and keeping that communication open, it’s all positive.

"These guys did a lot for me, raced some dirt with them, won $10,000 at Golden Isles and I respect these guys so much," Honeycutt said. "I actually feel grateful that Patt would even ask me to drive the car on Thursday and we’ll give it all we have and I’ll be rooting for them to come out on top."

All told, even without a fifth chance to win the Tom Dawson Trophy, Honeycutt views this as a successful season to have raced and won in so many different categories while also getting his feet wet in NASCAR Trucks.

Ultimately, that’s where he wants to be and he’s learned a lot.

"The Late Model Stock stuff really prepared me for the Trucks more than I thought," Honeycutt said. "It has some similar characteristics in terms of drive and feel. It’s helpful because you just have 15 minutes in practice there and you have to rely on everything in your experience to get up to speed.

"I learned so much about aero, the draft, sideforce and how all that works. Knowing that ahead of next year is going to be huge because the restarts have so much dirty air, with the downforce we got, this year was big just getting experience doing that on short tracks and intermediates.

"I really hope we can finalize all that and make a run at the playoffs next season."

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