MOORESVILLE, NC (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A Mooresville teenager is on the fast track to a career as a professional driver, but you might be surprised to learn he has no aspirations to race in NASCAR. The series he strives to attend full-time is the most prestigious sports car racing series in the country.
To help achieve their racing dreams, drivers often start out in smaller racing series, like NASA. The name isn’t just the space program, it’s also the acronym for the National Auto Sport Association. The racing group is a combination of 18 different road racing series.
Although the Charlotte area is considered NASCAR country, a California teenager moved here six years ago with his family for more opportunities in the road racing series.
The race cars that compete at NASA are not the ones you usually see in and around Charlotte.
“The prototype cars are just awesome,” said 17-year-old driver Owen McAllister.
The specific car that McAllister is racing at NASA is a prototype. At the low end, cars cost around $125,000. Inside the cockpit you will find technology and digital screens. Outside of the car, it’s all about aerodynamics and trim body kits.
McAllister, who is a senior in high school, caught the racing bug more than a decade ago thanks to his father who also had a full-time racing career.
“When I was 4 or 5 I would just go to the track with him and hang around, so I got into karts and cars through him,” McAllister said.
He took the wheel of a kart at 8 years old before moving on to racing cars at 14 years old. Her career is developing rapidly while juggling school. You could say that he learned, while racing, even a science.
“Despite missing 40 days of school last year, I still have a 4.3 GPA, so it’s been going pretty well,” McAllister said.
McAllister won the NASCAR Prototype Championship race at Laguna Seca in California last month. He has no intention of slowing down his studies or his racing career.
“There are so many different paths to racing. I would love to pursue motorsport while pursuing graduate school,” McAllister said.
While in college, McAllister hopes to join the International Motorsports Association, or IMSA. As the country’s premier road racing series, it has no plans to change racing platforms like stock cars.
“I don’t see myself moving to a whole new type of platform now. You never know, if there’s an opportunity I’ll take it,” McAllister said.
IMSA’s most prestigious race is the 24 Hours of Daytona, held annually in January at Daytona International Speedway. McAllister hopes to one day race in the LMP3 category.