Local pursues dream to drive in NASCAR - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Local pursues dream to drive in NASCAR


SPARTA, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- A local may have what it takes to be the next big NASCAR driver.

A high-schooler from Sparta is one of twelve participants chosen in Richard Petty's World-wide Driver Search.

"The rush, just being a couple inches away from people, is really cool," Davey Pennel says.

Davey has been racing since he was eleven.

But that wasn't very long ago, considering he's only sixteen.

"It might be hard for some people. It's just normal for me," Davey says.

What the youngster lacks in experience, he makes up for in heart. Davey won his first feature race he was ever in and holds three time records at the Wisconsin Dells race track.

"We're leading points as of right now, so it's a pretty good year for us," he says.

Number 29's legacy will reach outside Wisconsin's borders come September. He was accepted into Richard Petty's driver search for the next top driver, and he's the youngest driver there.

"It's a pretty cool opportunity to be one out of the twelve from every one in the world," he says.

As Davey pursues his dreams of becoming a NASCAR driver, crew, friends and family have caught Davey-fever and are doing anything to help.

"You can't buy that kind of talent. Once I realized that he had it, it makes it a no-brainer. If we have to sell the business and sell the house to go do this, we're going to do that. If we have to second-mortgage, we're going to do it, because he can do it," Davey's mother Sonya Pennel says.

"They realize how big of an opportunity it is for me," Davey says.

If Davey has what it takes and becomes the top driver for Richard Petty, NASCAR dreams could soon become reality.

"It's hard to say if that could happen or not. We'll see what this Richard Petty deal brings, but that'd be really cool to be that far that soon," Davey says.

The program takes place in the Carolinas at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord Speedway and Carolina Motorsports Park.

The driver search staff will analyze Davey over a four day period in the areas of car control, knowledge, race practices and even off-track criteria like marketability.

The "top driver" will get the chance to race at Rockingham Speedway in the "American 200."


Twitter: wxow_GErickson

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