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17-year-old NASCAR Next member James Bickford has shown great talent in his 10-plus seasons of racing on the west coast, but great talent runs in the family – his cousin is four-time Cup Series champ Jeff Gordon. Learn more about the California native in this week’s Fast Facts.
- James Bickford was born March 16, 1998 in Napa, CA. His father, Tom, made quarter midget parts for Ron Stanley race cars in the late 1970s and early 1980s and later supplied parts to his nephew Jeff, who was competing in quarter midgets at the time.
- Bickford began racing quarter midgets in 2004 at age five; in 2007, he won 69 of 75 races entered in one of the three quarter midget divisions he raced in.
- By 2010, Bickford had won 15 quarter midget championships, including four track championships, two Nor Cal championships and four regional championships, and captured the checkered flag nearly 200 times.
- Bickford moved up to Bandoleros in 2010 and Legends in 2011 and 2012; in 2011, Bickford earned the Semi-Pro Legends Championship and won the Rookie of the Year Award for Legends of the Pacific. Part way through the 2012 season, Bickford broke his arm playing football, ending the season on the sidelines.
- Bickford graduated to stock cars in 2013, running in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Late Model Series and winning the track championship at All American Speedway in Roseville, CA. In 2014, he moved into the K&N Pro Series West; he competed in his first road course race at Sonoma Raceway, where he had some tutoring from cousin Jeff, who has five wins at Sonoma. Bickford was named Rookie of the Year in the series and finished fifth in points in 2014, and continues in the series in 2015.
- Learn more about Bickford at his website, jbickfordracing.com.