Andretti, Gordon, Schumacher, Tracy, & Unser. All legendary racing names… all from the same mold, the world of kart racing. More than any other motorsports form, karting is the cradle of future champions including many of the current stars of Formula One, IRL and NASCAR.
Robert Stout hopes to follow in the same footsteps as the hero’s of Motorsports that began their careers in Karting. Growing up in a family flooded with Motorsports, Robert developed a passion for SPEED at a very young age. While passion is one element, talent is another, and Robert has proven he has what it takes to compete at the highest levels of competition over the past five years.
In 2007, just two years into his racing debut, he’d already been nationally ranked in the top 20 out of 250 racers in his class, competed in 82 races netting himself 49 top tens, 29 top fives, 18 podiums, 5 wins and 5 poles. He competed at the highest level of karting in the country including the Stars of Karting owned by Indy car legends Bobby Rahal and Bryan Herta, and also in the World Karting Association (WKA). This extremely high level of competition brought from teams around the globe provided Stout with a solid fundamental platform that he will use for the rest of his career.
“I’ve been told by former F1 and Indy car driver Derek Daly that this is some of the toughest competition I will ever see. We have traveled the country from Miami, FL to Shawano, WI and out to Las Vegas while covering a lot of tracks in between. At this level of karting, the investment is about $50,000 per year; it’s not your friendly go kart track. These are the future Mario Andretti’s of our time,” said Stout.
In 2008 at the age of 16, Robert moved up to cars and full size road courses. In his rookie season he continued his winning ways. During the 16-race season, he recorded 11 top tens, 10 top fives, 6 podiums, 4 wins and 5 poles. After competing in a limited schedule Robert finished 3rd in the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) Midwest Region points and 4th in the Great Lakes Region.
Robert has trained with some of the top driving instructors & motorsports groups in the country, including Kevin Krauss, Doug Smith, Jonathan Miller, Stephan Bastrzycki, and Linear Motorsports. The goal has been to surround him with great people from the racing industry that also have the patience to teach. Kevin Krauss for example, is in charge of the driver training and program development program at the Autobahn Country Club. He is also an instructor at the Bondurant Driving and Racing school. After spending just three hours with Kevin he had Robert up to speeds of 140 MPH in a full-bodied Shelby Mustang at the age of 14. Robert was given the green light to practice at the track for the rest of the day with no supervision. (As a point of reference typically no one is even allowed to drive a vehicle there until they’re 16.)
All of these connections have been orchestrated to provide him with the knowledge necessary to be competitive at a National level. Robert will also be schooled in media awareness and public speaking via his father Ken Stout who is a professional broadcaster for CBS, NBC, SPEED & Versus networks.
2009 was a break out year as Robert ran his first full season in cars. He won both the NASA Mid-West and Great Lakes Regional Championships in the Performance Touring A division and won the NASA PTA National Championship. At the year-end awards banquet he was presented with the NASA Great Lakes “Driver of the Year” award to cap off an incredible season! He was able to claim 15 Wins, 17 Poles and 16 Podium finishes along with three Championships in 20 starts.
2010 brought another new level of competition for Stout with his first attempt at competing in a professional series. He once again passed the test with flying colors! The World Challenge series is regarded as one of the big three when it comes to sports car racing in the United States. It has a 20-year history with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Pro-Racing division, and the 12-race season consists of eight weekends. Of those eight weekends, five of them run in conjunction with the Indy Racing League, and two of those also include the American LeMans series.
Stout is currently competing in the Touring car division of the World Challenge series and on Sunday April 18th at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in front of 60,000 fans, 18 year old Robert Stout became the youngest winner in the 20 year history of the world challenge! “Going into this year,” says Stout, “I knew I could drive a rear wheel drive car but had never raced a front wheel drive car so I really didn’t know what to expect and especially at a true professional level. We started out at the St.Pete Grand Prix with the Indy cars and it was cool, very cool! Much to my surprise I finished 2nd both Saturday and Sunday. The next race was the “Long Beach Grand Prix.” It is the biggest street race in the country and one of the top five in the world. Street races are hard because there is typically no run off if you make a mistake; just a concrete wall. I like them because I ran a bunch of street races in karts so the walls didn’t bother me. Again it was with Indy Car and this time the ALMS was there too. Over 180,000 came to that event over the four days, it was incredible to say the least. I qualified 2nd and went on to win the largest street race in the country! I couldn’t believe it! It was the coolest thing ever, media everywhere! My dad was there and we have worked together from day one. It was a special moment in time and one I will never forget!”
Stout has since gone on to win two more times at Mosport International, beating the very talented Chip Herr in the process and also winning at the Historic “Watkins Glen.” To add to his three wins this season, he has also finished on the podium five other times. As of this date with one race left in the season Robert has recorded 3 wins, 8 podiums, 10 top 5’s and 11 top 10 finishes in 11 starts of the 2010 season. At 18 years 6 months and 10 days Robert Stout locked up his first SCCA Pro-Racing National Championship in the Touring car division driving the #18 Scion making him the youngest Champion in the 20 year history of the World Challenge. He also won the Touring Car “Rookie of the Year” points in the process.
Throughout the first nine races over 800,000 people have come out to the World Challenge events. That, along with a strong TV package on Versus has helped Robert quickly get noticed by not only some of the best racers in the world, but also a number of manufactures who are all keeping a watchful eye on the young gun with speed!
“E3 Spark Plugs came on board as a sponsor this year, and without them there is no question that we would not be able to have done what we have done this year,” stated Robert’s father Ken Stout. “They are responsible in a big way for creating great life long memories between Robert and I that we will cherish forever! I only hope we can repay them enough that they feel it was worth the investment! I met key executives Todd Arey & Steve Joiner via my relationship with Lucas Oil. Jamie Devney has also been very instrumental in the relationship as it grew into a partnership with their support.”
“E3 is the type of company you want your name to be associated with,” said the younger Stout. “They are doing it the right way with the right people. They will go a long ways before it’s all said and done, and I can only hope that we get to go on that journey with them.”
In Robert’s first five years behind the wheel, he has displayed the ability to race side by side on some of the toughest tracks in the country, stayed out of trouble, raced clean and proved to everyone that he has the talent needed to race with the best.
Name: Robert Stout
Hometown: Brownsburg, Indiana
Age, DOB: 3/2/92
Height: 6′ 4″
Parents: Ken & Alice Stout
Hobbies: Kart Racing, Mixed Martial Arts, Bass Guitar
Career Features: 134
Career Wins: 27
Career Podium Finishes: 48
Career Top 10’s: 93
Career Top 5’s: 70
Career Poles: 30
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PRESS RELEASE SPECIFIC IMAGES:
The E3 Spark Plugs sponsored Robert Stout driven Scion.
#457 Robert Stout leads at the Prestigious Stars of Karting event.
In 2008, Robert Stout finished 3rd in the National Auto Sport Association Midwest Region
In 2009, Robert Stout finished with 15 wins, 17 poles, 16 podium finishes and 3 championships in 20 starts.
Robert Stout with his E3 Spark Plugs sponsored World Challenge events car.
Robert Stout making a turn at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which he won.
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