When Oxford changed hands from Bill Ryan Jr. to Tom Mayberry, officials elected to replace that class with a more bone-stock, entry-level division for 2013.

Not alone in his plight, Childs, of Leeds, decided to take his band of merry racers with their “more evolved and advanced” style of cars on the road. Where they were headed, he wasn’t quite sure.

“I wasn’t looking to change divisions or build a different car,” Childs said. “I still miss Oxford dearly, but when they eliminated my class, I was at a crossroads. Several of us in that class had similar cars, so I set out to find a track willing to accept us.”

He contacted Richard and Vanessa Jordan, the new owners at Wiscasset Speedway. He proposed what he felt was a viable division, and asked if they would be willing to give it a shot. The Jordan’s agreed to run the aptly-named “Outlaw Minis” every other week in 2013 as a non-points, trial-run effort.

“I’ve settled into racing at Wiscasset very nicely,” he said. “The Jordans and their staff make you feel right at home. The track is fun and fast; these cars can run some pretty quick laps times there. I’m very happy where I am, and feel fortunate this class has worked out so well for all of us.”

According to longtime Wiscasset official and P.A. announcer Ken Minott, the class draws fan interest and puts on some exciting races. The Jordans elected to schedule a full-blown points chase for 2014.

“Jimmy epitomizes the essence of a typical racer,” Minott said. “You can tell it’s in his heart and soul. He’s a talented racer who gets all he can out of his equipment every time he hits the track. As a key player in bringing the Outlaw Minis to Wiscasset, he takes pride in every race. We’re happy to have him as a member of the Wiscasset Speedway family.” 

Childs began his career in 1995 at Oxford in its Mini Stock class. He sat out most of the 1997 and 1998 seasons after some misbehavior, but returned to action in 1999 and has been flat out ever since.

He’s notched 54 career wins overall, including 48 in Oxford’s former Mini Stock class, topping the all-time list in that class. He earned the championship in 2006 and 2007 with multi-win campaigns.

In addition to his former home track of Oxford and current hangout at Wiscasset, Childs has raced at Beech Ridge, the Lee USA Speedway in Lee, N.H., and at Speedway 95 in Bangor. Through all the travel, hard work and sweat, there were wins, podiums and priceless memories.

“I’d have to say from 2003 to 2007 were my best years, because I was winning and racing with my father,” Childs said. “It’s always been about family with me; Dad and I have shared every emotion possible in this sport. Even today, when he and I go to Wiscasset, I enjoy it win, lose, or draw. Most folks have known this for years, but with this family, racing is in our blood. This is what we do.”

“Yet the 2008 and 2009 seasons were fun, as well, because I learned a ton when we ran a Late Model. A lot of what I learned then translates to what I do today. We were able to win a Late Model feature, and in 2009 I qualified for the Oxford 250. That was huge for me and my father.”

This season has been kind to Childs at the now 45-year old Wiscasset speed plant. He leads the point standings by 36 markers over Augusta’s Shawn Kimball with three points races left to run.

With six top-fives and eight top-10s in eight starts, the only thing missing is a victory.

“I’m proud to have led the points all season, but what I really want is a win. Winning races is why we all compete, and I’ve had quite a streak of seasons with at least one feature victory. If I could win one time and secure the inaugural Outlaw Mini championship, I’d be on top of the world.”

With a growing family (son Gavyn was born last July) and an ever-increasing workload at Jim’s Paint & Auto Body, the task of juggling responsibilities in family, work and racing has Childs thinking more and more about the future.

“Right now, I feel like I’ll probably drive for another five years or so before I step aside,” he said as he looked into his race car. “I’m enjoying spending time with my son, and I’m starting to see a lot of potential in the driving skills of my daughter, Jordyn.

“She’s 17 now, and from what I’ve seen her do in a Kart, I feel like she’ll be ready to take over the wheel with confidence one day. I think she has the talent to carry this family legacy into the future. I’d be proud if some day I could help guide her career in racing.”

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