David Douglas Carr Jr. loves speed.
The Athlete Spotlight is on Augusta Christian Schools' David Carr Jr.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"I love adrenalin and how competitive racing is," said the Augusta Christian sophomore, who will soon make his NASCAR debut at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, Ga.
Carr's journey to NASCAR began when he was 9 years old and kart racing at the dirt track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He knew racing was in his blood when he took on the muddy track with gusto while others hesitated.
A photographer captured his determination in a head-on picture that made the cover of two racing magazines, World Karting and Dirt Karting News.
More than 150 races later, Carr is still racing and loving it. He's moved up from karts to mini stocks (four cylinders), and now that he is 16, he can race in the Pro Late Model Division. Carr has two state championships to his name and has raced 150 times, winning more than 15 times and placing in the top five 75 times.
"My goal is to continue moving up the NASCAR ladder to eventually be up in the Nextel Cup," he said.
Though he's experienced much success, the track wasn't always easy for him.
"The first couple of years, I had the worst possible luck," Carr said.
A number of wrecks occurred right in front of him during races, and he was not able to avoid them.
"Other kids would have quit," said his father, David Carr Sr. "He kept on. It's the same kind of perseverance he has today."
Now Carr Jr. says he can avoid most any wreck through skill learned by experience and through special training from Mike Loescher's Finish Line Racing School.
Carr feels a bond with the car that enables him to instinctively know when there is trouble, no matter how small. One time, he felt a slight vibration while attending the driving school. It turned out to be the tiniest problem - a ball bearing needed replacing. Another time, he felt a difference in the tires and mentioned they felt a couple of pounds low. His instinct was confirmed when during a pit stop his crew chief mentioned he had let two pounds of pressure out of the tires.
Carr is always surrounded by family members at the track, and that dedication landed them the honor of Family of the Year for the World Karting Association in 2000.
"I'm very proud of him. It took a long time to get where he got," said sister Chelsey, who has served as part of her brother's pit crew. During both state championship, Carr's sister joined cousin Lauren Carr, and they comprised the only all-female pit crew.
Saturdays are dedicated to car racing, but during the week Carr finds time to play varsity football and track for Augusta Christian and enjoys an interest in vintage cars. An A student, he plans to pursue an engineering degree after high school graduation and is researching the college with the most specific program aimed toward race cars.
Carr Sr. supports his son's interest and believes his future lies in the racing industry.
"When he sets his mind to it - take it to the bank," he said.
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