You guys should know the drill by now: every now and again, I use the space afforded to me at SIKIDS.com to point out some of the finest young sports talent in the country (And for those of you that don't know... check here. And here).
This week, I'd like to show some love to a youngster on the NASCAR circuit.
"Why NASCAR, Duane From NJ" (I can hear you!)? Well, because Sergio Pena -- in addition to the fact that he's arguably the finest driver yet to roll out of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program (an initiative designed to increase the number of qualified minorities driving and working inside NASCAR) -- has managed to make a name for himself in racing circles at an age when he should be busy finishing his homework.
The 16-year-old debuted in NASCAR's K&N Pro Series, the top developmental series in the land, late last month, finishing second at the Toyota All-Star Showdown and giving 19-year-old phenom (and TAS Showdown winner) Joey Logano all he could handle in the process. Had he won, Pena would've become the youngest driver ever to finish first at the Toyota All-Star Showdown, smashing Logano's current record by a full year.
Ok... he fell a little short of the checkered flag. But trust me on this: any non-adult that can give NASCAR wunderkind Joey Logano fits on a racetrack is worth keeping an eye on. So yeah. Keep an eye on this Pena kid. And when everyone else is talking about him four months from now, you can say you knew all about him ages ago. Agessssssssssss. You can also use The DNJ's patented "obnoxious laugh" to emphasize the point (just this once).
Check below for an audio interview where Pena discusses joining the Drive for Diversity program, his earliest racing memories, his near-miss at the TAS Showdown, and more!
PS - Bonus points for the first poster that knows who Wendell Scott is!
CLICK THE PLAY BUTTON BELOW TO LISTEN: