Unbuckled: Getting to Know Sean “Chubby Rambo” McCarthy


Hometown: Williamstown, VT

Division: Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors

Car: Orange County Property Maintenance #86 VW Golf

2018 Season: 1 win, 3 podium finishes


What are your favorite hobbies outside of racing?

I do a lot of hunting. Unfortunately, this past season was a skunk season. (Laughs) I also spend a lot of time hanging out with my kiddos.

What do you do for work/school?

I work at Capital City Kia in Montpelier as a car salesman. April will mark six years there, but I’ve also been selling trucks, GMCs, and such for a while.

What are your racing plans for 2019?

I’m pretty much planning to be back in the Warriors again – at least until I get kicked out. (Laughs) I’ll probably just do that. I toyed around with the idea of a Street Stock, but in the Warriors you get to race every other week, so it’s all more or less fun. You don’t have the 100 percent seriousness, I guess. I don’t even go out for practice.

Do you have any goals for the season?

Last year, I got three trophies in four weeks right at the end of the year. If I can grab a couple more wins, that would be a plus. And hopefully I can keep the car in one piece.

What was the highlight of the 2018 season for you?

Obviously getting on the podium with Eric Chase and Jayme Lee when I won my first race was cool, because we’ve raced together for a long time. Also, I built a car and helped Ethan Howes after he totaled his in the Labor Day race, and he actually got his first checkered flag in a heat race during Milk Bowl Weekend. It was cool to see.

How did you get started in racing?

It was just something I wanted to do while growing up. I think when I was 15 – or maybe I had just turned 16 – I bought a car from Dave LaFleche. It was a convertible Ford Tempo. I raced that for the Milk Bowl, and then we ended up building an Escort when I was 16 and racing in, I think it was 2006. That’s more or less how I got started – I just wanted to try it, and I’ve been sticking with it since.

You had been out of racing for several years before coming back at the end of 2017. What made you decide to get back into it?

The opportunity just kind of came about. I remember back in 2006 in the Warriors, it was always a Volkwagens that was super-fast. So I had an opportunity in 2017 to buy one and build it into a race car. And the Warriors aren’t like back in the Tiger series when I stopped racing – it’s just something fun and inexpensive, and you get to be around people that like to have fun. No one’s out there wrecking each other intentionally, and it’s more or less just a fun series to be a part of.

Can you tell me about your family?

I have two boys, which is awesome. Carson is my oldest – he’s three years old now and will be four in June. And then I have Chase, who will be one in March. They’re definitely the highlight of my life, both of them.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment to be?

Definitely my two kids, for sure. It’s awesome being a dad. Other than that, working at Capital City Kia. I love what I do, so it’s more or less just being a hard worker and doing whatever you can – especially helping your community and being a part of that. I’ll do anything I can do. Volunteering my time, donating money to local Little Leagues, AAU teams…anything that I can be a part of, I try to be. It’s going to go a long way in your community – kids are the future, so you need to look out for them.

Do you have anyone that you consider a role model or that you look up to?

Probably my grandfather Lenny. He’s a super-hard worker – he taught me and all of our family about working hard for whatever you have. Also, when I was a lot younger, there was Duncan McKay that raced at Thunder Road a long time ago. He was actually a good friend of my father’s before he passed away. That’s where my number 86 comes from.

What’s the most memorable trip you ever went on?

Going to our camp up in Maine is always a blast. I remember when I was about 17 years old, there was five of us between me and my buddies that all went up there. It was a wild summer – there was a pig roast, and we had a run-in with a game warden or two. (Laughs) But other than that, it was a lot of fun. That was a crazy highlight, for sure.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

I’d never really thought about that. I guess being able to fly. I mean, if I’m going somewhere, it wouldn’t take very long.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

I’d have to say bad drivers on the road. When you watch people sometimes, you wonder how they got a driver’s license. (Laughs) That would be the worst thing – it drives me nuts.

What are the top items on your bucket list?

The biggest one would be to head to Alaska and check the state out. That’d be pretty sweet to see the views and such. I’ve heard it’s awesome over there.

Finish this sentence: on a Friday night, you’ll typically find me….

Either working or at home hanging out with my kids and having a fire or something like that. I keep it low key – I’m at that age. (Laughs)

Who is your biggest fan at the track?

I don’t know if it would be Eric Chase or if it would be the 12 crew members that I pick up every Thursday at the Quarry Hill Quick Stop – it’s the Buschel Team. They like to be on ice. (Laughs) It’s probably one of those two. I mean, nothing beats having a Busch Latte with Pork after a night at the track. (Laughs)

Who or what has had the greatest influence on your racing career?

John Donahue is who I’d say. When I was coming up through the Tiger division, he was there and definitely taught me a lot about everything there is to do with a car. But even if you just talk to a lot of the veteran drivers that have been there forever – Chip Grenier, Justin Hart…you can talk to all those guys and they’ll give you a little bit of advice as far as how to do certain things. There’s always somebody that you can ask.

If you could pass along one piece of advice or a life lesson to your younger self, what would it be?

Just enjoy life and don’t take everything so seriously. Definitely have fun, but learn as much as you can growing up, and always ask questions if you don’t have an answer. If you don’t know the answer to something, don’t hesitate to ask a question. That’s the biggest thing.

Where do you hope to see yourself in five years?

Hopefully I still have a good job, and hopefully I’m still in Williamstown – I enjoy that community a lot. Also just trying to be a great dad and try to be there as much as I can for my kids. Hopefully I can slowly get them into racing and other sports, but the big thing is to just try and be there for my kiddos.

What would you do with your life if you never had to worry about money again?

It’s weird to say, but I’d probably live out in the mountains or something – you know, get away from technology and everything like that and just slow life down. You don’t have to be a part of anything you don’t want to be. You can kind of just do your own thing every day and learn what’s out there, explore Mother Nature, and things like that. Have fun all the time, run around barefoot – roughing it for life. (Laughs)