Traft Abbott, Sr.

Inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2018


Trafton “Traft” Abbott, Sr., racing career has had a number of phases to it, from racing Demo Derbies and Street Stocks to being a mentor/Crew Chief for his son Traft, Jr. and his grandson, Timmy Near.

Abbott, Sr. started running Demo Derbies in 1968 and by 1975 he had won 34 events. He ran all over the state, most against 60 or more cars per show. In 1976, he won the State Demo Derby Championship with seven event wins, including a big race at the Wyoming, MI arena. He has also won Demos in places like on the ice at Houghton Lake during Tip-Up-Town, The Pontiac Silverdome, and the Allen County Coliseum in Indiana.

Abbott, Sr. switched to stock cars in 1975 by running some Street Stock at Tri-City Motor Speedway, winning five feature wins. In 1977, he won seven features and the Track Championship at Tri-City Motor Speedway, plus he won three Demo Derby races that year. Of note, on 7-7-77, driving car #77, he won the four-car Dash, the Pursuit, the feature, as well as the Demo Derby at Tri-City on that day.

From 1978 to 1981, Traft won races at Dixie, Flat Rock, Mt. Pleasant, Spartan, Standish, and Tri-City.

When his wife Barb, passed away at Tri-City in 1981 while Traft was racing, he put racing on hold. With four children, Coty, Jodi, Traft, Jr., and Shannon at home to raise he quit racing. He had 57 feature wins before retiring.

Abbott, Sr. got back into racing in 1984, when his son Traft, Jr. started racing Pro Stocks and his passion for racing took him to being a mentor and a crew chief. In 1985 they won seven Features together plus the Mid-Season and Season Late Model Championships at Tri-City. Over the next 15 years they won a lot of big races, ending up with 45 feature wins.

Then Abbott, Sr. started his grandson, Timmy Near racing Go-Karts at age seven on dirt tracks all over the state. They ran Kalkaska, Houghton Lake, all over the thumb area, and ran asphalt at Tri-City and Auto City. In eight years, they won 60 Kart Features, two Championships, they were 2nd twice and 3rd twice.

From there, they started running bombers (Led Sleds) in 2003 and they won nine Features. Since then they have won 37 Features. In 2006 they won 12 Features alone and the Track Championship at Auto City Speedway. His grandson has since moved up to the IMCA Modified division.

Traft Abbott, Sr. is one of the most liked guys in racing, and there is always a crowd around him at the tracks. had good time. He’s met a lot of great and interesting people and carries a lot of fond memories along the way.