Paul Ulane

Meet the Next Generation of NASCAR Stars

  • The Arena
  • Paul Ulane
  • February 23, 2012, 4:58 PM

When I was younger I played little league baseball with the hope of eventually cranking homers out of Yankee Stadium as a pro. A lot of kids today do the same thing. But not all sports have such widespread youth opportunities.

If you want to grow up to race NASCAR’s best speedsters, you have a much tougher road ahead. Racing Dreams, a new documentary debuting on PBS tonight, follows three kids trying to break into the professional racing circuit and all of the problems that accompany that dream.

The film tracks the progress of Annabeth Barnes (11 years old), Josh Hobson (12) and Brandon Warren (13) as they compete in the Pavement Series, a yearlong national championship of five races around the country organized by the World Karting Association (WKA).

That’s right, these kids travel around the country just to participate in high speed go kart races. How cool is that? And these aren’t the karts you and I get to race in at the local track, these bad boys hit up to 70 miles per hour once the kids get behind the wheel on the raceway.

But life on the WKA circuit isn’t always pedal to the metal. Dreams goes home with Barnes, Hobson and Warren to see what challenges they face off the track as they fight to race at the next level. Each of the young racers grows up over the course of the movie and you can’t help but root for each one of them to reach their ultimate goal.

Racing Dreams has its national broadcast premiere on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012, at 9 p.m. as a special broadcast on PBS’s POV (Point of View) series.

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