16-year-old NASCAR driver Gray Gaulding

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - Gray Gaulding from outside of Richmond is like any other 16-year-old.

He plans on spending some time this summer at the beach with his family and friends, and he also has a really cool job.

“I’ve got a lot of racing going on,” Gaulding said.

He is one of NASCAR’s top prospects and has been racing since he was 3-years-old and when he was 12, he beat Kevin Harvick in a go-kart race.

“When I was out there racing, he treated me just like I was another grown man even though I was only 12-years-old,” Gaulding said.  “We’d get out there and beat each other up, he was like, ‘man I got beat by a 12-year-old’.”

Gaulding’s biggest win came last year, when he took the checkered flag in a K&N series race at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway.

“To be able to finally get it done for all the people that have worked so hard for me, especially now that I’ve won in the NASCAR series is pretty cool and hopefully add some more wins to my name in NASCAR.”

Gaulding’s coming off of a big weekend, but come Monday, it was back to reality for the NASCAR driver without a driver’s license.

“It’s funny I don’t have my drivers license,” Gaulding said.  “A couple of days ago I had to do drivers education, it was one day after I raced Pensacola, Florida and got the pole, then the next day I flew to St. Louis, Missouri and raced in the truck race at Gateway at 180 mph, then the next day my mom wakes me up and says, ‘alright, lets go, your going to driver’s education’.”

Racing trucks and stock cars in the K&N series is fine for now for Gray Gaulding, but when he turns 18, he hopes to get a seat in the Nationwide series.

“I think that’s the best opportunity to be able to run in the Nationwide series at 18 and try and go for the rookie of the year, but every competitor wants to go for the championship.”

The Ultimate goal though is to make it to NASCAR’s biggest stage, the Cup series.

“That’s the dream,” said Gaulding. “Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to step up to the top of the sport, the pinnacle which is the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. Me and my grandpa always had a dream that hopefully I can be the youngest driver to win the Daytona 500, so I’m going to do everything in my power to get to that level in the next couple of years.”

 

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