October 9th, 2012
02:15 PM ET

Hispanic racer Sergio Peña hopes to be NASCAR's next big thing

By Larry Lazo, CNN

(CNN) - Nineteen-year-old Sergio Peña is living his dream.

"You know, to be a race car driver - it almost doesn't seem real," he said. "It doesn't seem like a job at all. It's more like play to me."

Peña may say it feels like play, but his work ethic says otherwise.

"He is a very methodical, very calculated race car driver," said Kip Childress, director of NASCAR's K&N Pro Series East. "Sergio is a driver that uses a whole lot of thought behind the steering wheel."

Peña is from Virginia and is a first generation Colombian American. His love for racing started at age 4 when his father bought him a dirt bike.

Jai Peña saw early on that there was no turning back. "He loved it from day one," his father said.

Peña has been competing professionally since he was 13. Motocross, Go-Karts, Formula cars - he was game for anything. But his love for all things speed didn't come without a price.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. Jorge

    Big deal, NASCAR is to track racing what WWF is to martial arts. My father recalls when Juan Manuel Fangio was ripping it internationally in F1 and F2 for Maserati, Ferrari and Mercedes Benz during the '50s, when Grand Prix racing was HAIRY. Fangio was so respected within the international automotive community, that he was appointed president of Daimler Benz Argentina in 1974, and honorary president for life in 1987.

    October 25, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |