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Jim Howe was looking for a way to restart his go-kart team, and for that he needed a driver.
Howe works in Louisville with Sherry Pearcy, and her son Daniel, 11, just happens to be a race enthusiast.
“I talked some with her about it, and although Daniel had never raced before, he showed some potential,” Howe said.
The Pearcys and Howe will join forces to race in the Lucas Oil Indy Karting Series in the Junior Sportsman Class. The series runs on tracks throughout central and southern Indiana. The karts run on 2-cycle engines.
Daniel’s father, Keith, said his son has a knack for the craft.
“Whatever you put him in, he can just drive it,” Keith said. “He’s kind of a natural.”
Keith has an eye for this sort of thing. As a former drag racer, he knows his way around a car.
Daniel, who attends Simpsonville Elementary, said he’s excited to get started and was a little shocked when he got the news.
“I was surprised when they told me I could race,” he said. “I think all I could say was ‘awesome.’”
However, all agreed that the expectations for his first year will be low.
“It’s mostly going to be a learning year for Daniel,” Howe said. “Our goals will be to finish all the races, not crash and learn as much as we can.”
Keith Pearcy said working together will be the biggest adjustment, but next year would be a different story.
“The engine’s not a first-place engine, and Daniel has to learn how to drive the kart,” he said. “Plus, we have learn how to talk to each other and work together. Then, we’ll see how it goes and next year maybe we can work toward winning some races.”
Daniel said he’s hoping that like some great racers of the past, he can turn a go-kart start into a dream.
“It’s something I’m really interested in,” he said. “I watch some NASCAR on occasion and drag racing sometimes. I really like circuit racing and Indy Car and Formula One.”
The Pearcys and Howe will get the team’s engine next weekend.
“We’re going to pick the motor up in Illinois, and after that we’ll get it in and start testing it,” Keith said.
Daniel said he’s excited to get started.
“I’m looking forward to just driving and going somewhere fast.”