Race-car drivers aren’t like the rest of us — at least when it comes to driving.
They’re always going at high speeds, trying to pass the car ahead of them. They’re like that guy on the highway who gets right up in your rearview mirror and doesn’t back off until you either go faster or move out of the left lane.
And they’ve also been driving a long time, in a lot of cases since grade school or even earlier.
NASCAR‘s Kevin Harvick, who competes in the Sprint Cup Brickyard 400 Sunday, July 27 (on ESPN), piloted his first go-kart at the age of 5 and has been driving competitively ever since.
By the time he was in his early teens, he had logged more hours behind the wheel than most adults two and three times his age. And he knew where his parents’ car keys were.
Which raises the question: How did Mom and Dad feel about that?
“It was no problem,” Harvick, a 38-year-old native of Bakersfield, Calif. tells Zap2it. “When they would all go to work, I’d take the box van and drive it across town when I was 14 or 15 years old to go to my friend’s house. So I knew where the keys were.”
So when it came to tasks like driving the family van with his race car cross-country to races, it was a no-brainer to put young Harvick behind the wheel.
“Oh man,” he says, “I was probably driving the box van and the house trailer by the time I was 13, 14 years old so we could get across the country easier. So that was the easy part, was driving, so my dad trusted me enough to drive the box van and the trailer across the country.
“We could make more ground. I guess he figured I could drive better than most people on the road at that particular point. So he’d be asleep in the passenger seat and I’d be driving the box van and the trailer as we were going to wherever we were headed to.”