Blog: So You Want to be a NASCAR Champ?

Steve Kim Blog covering NASCAR

It's like saying "so you want to be an NBA star?" But then again, look what's happening to Jeremy Lin (ex. his game against Miami). (In case you have been sleeping for the past month, Linsanity). So never say never.

Even if you can't parallel park your car to save your life, there's always the next generation to whom you could pass on the dream -- and impart some wisdom. Check out the following links to About.com to get started.

How to get started -- there has to be a beginning somewhere, Then proper goal setting -- a must, Lastly, work the system.

Many years back, I was at a dinner sitting next to Mario Andretti. I asked him how one becomes a race car driver. (I was too timid to ask how one becomes a racing champion.) After he kindly hinted that I shouldn't quit my day job, he imparted his hard earned wisdom. He said he drove whatever he could as fast as he could whenever, wherever. When he didn't have anything to drive, he used dinner plates to practice steering. So if you happen to go shopping this weekend, you may want to pick up a few 12 inch porcelain plates to work out the steering muscles and hand-eye. You could also prepare for possible slamming into a wall by letting go of the plate -- please do this over a carpet so as not to disrupt the practice session and contain expenses.

NASCAR legend Mark Martin recounts in his NASCAR for Dummies book how he got started as a child: "My Dad used to prop me up on his lap while he was in the driver's seat of the car and, without taking no for an answer, would take me take the steering wheel. Then he'd slam his foot on the accelerator and off we'd go. It scared me to death, but I was stuck steering that car sometimes at speeds over 80 mph on gravel roads around our hometown. The more we drove, the more I got used to it -- and the more I fell in love with the sensation of going fast and taking the car to the edge....I started racing cars when I was 15, even before I had a driver's license." I personally don't recommend you do this with your kids, especially if you live in an urban area.

If you are not quite ready for the pressure of driving 200+ mph along with 42 other fear-challenged racers, or you don't want to crack any plates by accident, then you could join me as a spectator. Enjoy the Daytona weekend!

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags featured, nascar, daytona, blog, steve kim, mark martin, mario andretti

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