Bailey Cole has had an eventful couple of years, experiencing the highs and lows that are inevitable when competing at the highest level of any sport. Bailey handles it all with gentle grace and maturity that is well beyond his years. He manages to juggle being a full-time student at NAU in Flagstaff, Arizona, with his Ultra4 Racing schedule and is succeeding at both. But back to those highs and lows...
In 2020 at the Ultra4 night race at Crandon, Bailey veered off course to avoid an overturned vehicle and the recovery crew, resulting in his car launching into a large holding pond next to a remote area of the track. Thankfully, Bailey was conscious and able to think clearly under incredibly difficult conditions--he was underwater, in the dark, strapped into his race car. Bailey was able to remove his safety equipment, get his window net down, and get out of the race car. Amazingly, despite being completely submerged, the car's lights stayed on, helping the recovery crew locate Bailey and the car. Bailey and his crew worked throughout the night and were able to get the motor to fire back up so Bailey could make the final race the next day. Halfway through the race, the effects from the previous night's soaking took hold, and Bailey's motor--and race--were finished.
Bailey encountered other challenges during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, but through it all, he persevered. Bailey made it to the top of the podium with a win at the 2021 Ultra4 Big Sky race earlier this year, but his motor problems returned at Crandon during qualifying, and he found himself without a car to race. The Ultra4 community came together, with another team loaning Bailey their backup car. Bailey was back in business, racing the next race of the weekend...until that team found themselves in need of their backup car. Again, the Ultra4 community stepped up, and another team offered to put Bailey in their car for the final race of the weekend.
We're honoring Bailey with an Impact Award this year not only for his wins but for his perseverance in the face of adversity.
At this writing, Bailey is studying for his college Midterms in Arizona and making a final push to get his car together for Ultra4 Nationals in Oklahoma.
2017-2019 Archive: Bailey races the 4800 Legends Class in Ultra4, and attends Northern Arizona University, majoring in Business Marketing. He is on track to be the 2019 4800 Class West Coast Points Champion and ranks in the Top 10 in the 4400 Class point standings. He is locked in a points battle with Casey Gilbert for the 2019 Ultra4 4800 Class National Championship, which will come down to the last race of the season. Bailey started the season with a podium finish at King of the Hammers after starting 78th. He won the Hard Charger award at the Ultra4 Stampede, for qualifying number one and also winning the race. Bailey qualified first and finished second at the King of Baja and Rampage at Ridgecrest and won the Battle at Bluegrass in Kentucky.
Photo Credit: Alan Johnson