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By Jesse Utz 

Gems in the Coulee: Lucas Bird

Jess Shut Up

 

Lucas Bird driving his race car in the Colorama Parade

 

There is a kid in town who is racing his way to NASCAR. That kid is Lucas Bird, a home grown product of the Coulee area who has won races in just about every car he has been in.

Last year he was racing with the adults and won the championship hands down. Did I mention that this kid is only in the eighth grade at Grand Coulee Dam Middle School? 4.0 student. Class president. Not to mention a leader, not just on the track but in the halls at school. I personally have seen him be the voice of reason, step up to challenges and make the hard choices with his fellow students. He does all of this with a smile that could melt butter and make the girls blush. (OK, that probably just made him blush.)

The Bird name has been associated with motor sports locally for many years. Herb Bird, who kicked up a little dirt and rubbed a few cars in his day, is on the pit crew of his grandson, Lucas. There are other Birds too that have success in a race car racing all over the Northwest. It is safe to say it is in Lucas's blood, and winning is coming easy so far. But he knows there is tougher and stiffer competition just around the corner. Just ask him. He will smile and then tell you all about it.

Some of you are saying right now, "Really, a kid a gem in the coulee?" Yep, I'm telling ya, someday you are going to turn on a Saturday race on TV and there will be a red headed kid holding a trophy and getting a milk bath because he just won a NASCAR race. This kid has everything going for him, but the best part is his attitude.

He's a hard worker, dedicated, and wants it more than a lot of kids that don't dream as big. He reminds me a lot of another local hero that did big things on the national stage. That kid is Shane Proctor, and Lucas has some of the same fire burning in his belly, too. Talk about a role model.

So kids out there, do you have a dream? Is there something you really want to do? Lucas would tell you to do it and don't look back, except to give back to those that have helped you along the way.

Lucas would not want me to write this without thanking a few people, including, of course, all his sponsors along the way. But there are three people that really need recognition: His grandpa Herb, for everything he does. No one will ever know all that he has put into Lucas and his car; Pat, for learning the race car game and being there no matter what. Your time is valuable, and you spend it with Lucas. Of course, none of this would even be possible without Mom's undying support. Sjana has been to every race and cheered every lap. She has been the counselor, pit crew, driver, and sponsor digger upper. But most of all, she has been a great mom, full of support and guidance on this journey.

So maybe there are four gems in the Coulee this time: grandpa, mom, stepdad and, of course, the future racing superstar, Lucas Bird.

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