SWAPPING GIGS: Sterling Riggs tries his skills in a race car - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SWAPPING GIGS: Sterling Riggs tries his skills as a race car driver

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Louisville, KY (WDRB) -- I swapped gigs with a Louisville race car driver to see what it's like to feel the need for speed.

Sportsdrome Speedway in Clarksville, Indiana is a place where racing dreams start, weekend warriors swap paint and fans stay glued to the action as cars roar by.

One fan said, "There is nothing else like it! It's the best feeling you'll ever get. It's better than any drug!"

Three generations of the Blanchard family have raced in Clarksville.

The youngest driver 15-year old James let me join the family racing team.

My car for the evening was a bright yellow 1994 Ford Focus with a modified engine to run in the dromer class.

His grandfather once raced on the NASCAR circuit and James let me know that racing is not all fun and games.

Blanchard said, "Right when the green flag drops, all your fear goes away. Before the race starts, you are real nervous and real scared."

He doesn't even have his Kentucky drivers permit yet.

Do not let his age fool you. This kid can run with the big boys.

I asked him to give me some tips before heading out to the track.

Blanchard said, "Go fast, turn left and watch out for other drivers."

The time for chit-chat was over and time to line up for the 12 car heat race.

At this point, all I could think about was what the great driver Rickey Bobby once said, "I'm just a big hairy winning machine, If you ain't first, you're last."

To be honest, I was a little nervous and started in the back of the pack.

Our strategy was to hang back for a few laps to avoid a wreck.

Once I felt comfortable with the track, I put the pedal to the medal and started picking a few cars off.

Then on the last lap, I battled it out with the Pink Panther.

He blocked me for a while but just when he thought I was going high, and I drove low to hold him off and finish 5th.

Blanchard said, "You did pretty well. Better than I thought you were going to. I thought you almost lost it a couple of times, but you saved it."

I might have a future in this business; if someone lets me borrow a car!

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