Tupelo teen Tillman Ewing excels in competitive UTV racing
TUPELO — Years before Tillman Ewing can legally drive a car, he's winning UTV races across the United States.
To date, the 13-year-old sixth grader at Tupelo's Milam Elementary School has raced utility terrain vehicles through woods, pastures and creeks in competitions in six states. He's won first place in three Ultra4 races, including the Legends of the Fall race, which was the 2022 grand finale for Ultra4 Racing.
Ewing's intro to racing
Ewing and his father, Jamie Ewing, first became interested in UTV racing on trips with family friend, Phillip Poe, who has been racing for about five years. Jamie Ewing and Poe's son, Hunter Poe, regularly traveled to assist with vehicle maintenance and repair.
When Poe moved from a single-seat car to a two-seater, Jamie Ewing took on the role of co-driver.
Tillman Ewing tagged along to races with them for a couple of years before getting behind the wheel himself.
"I saw Poe race, and I just wanted to give it a try," Ewing said.
His first opportunity came during an event in Blue Ridge, Kentucky, in June 2020 that included a kids race.
"We threw some number plates (on the car), threw some safety gear in it, Hunter got the car ready, he went and raced it," Jamie Ewing said. "It got started from there, and then we kept going."
Ewing races with Poe's number, 06, partially because they already had the numbers on hand, but mostly to pay homage to the man who introduced him to the sport.
Poe said UTV racing has proven to be a good outlet for Ewing to grow and learn. He works hard and has great potential.
"He's done very well with what he's done so far," Poe said. "He's grown a lot in the last two years."
Ewing has learned the value of sportsmanship as he's befriended his fellow racers at events. He's also embraced the competitive aspect of racing.
His favorite part of the sport is passing other racers and winning.
He's is looking forward to the 2023 season, and he's even picked up a couple of sponsors in recent months — MRT Tires and Muscle Race Wheels.
Ewing first started racing in the 170 CC class and most recently drove a Hisun Strike 250. He'll be racing in a new larger car this spring after moving up to the 570 CC class.
He plans to race in MidAmerica Outdoors short course MAO Series in Oklahoma, the Competitive Offroad Racing Series (CORS) and the Lucas Oil Off Road Series.