Friday, May 28, 2010

Why the greatest racer in the country isn't in the Indy 500

The two most dominant drivers in the country won’t be racing in the Indianapolis 500 tomorrow. They might not even be in attendance. Race fans will debate over who will take the checkered flag this year. Will Helio repeat? Or how about Danica? Scott Dixon maybe? While hundreds of thousands will gather in Indy to witness speed at its greatest on its biggest stage the future of racing lies in two kids who are years from being able to drive legally.

Who are these whippersnappers, you ask? Meet Santino Ferruci, an 11 year-old from Woodbury, Connecticut with the racing smarts of a seasoned veteran and swagger to back up every one of his towering trophies, and Jack Miller Jr., a confident and fearless six year-old from Westfield, Indiana who’s been racing since age four and has never been beaten.

So who’s the better driver? Let’s take a look.

Santino Ferrucci – “The most dominant young racer in America.” –GQ

Featured in: GQ magazine, May issue (by Josh Dean)

Record: Hasn’t lost in over 2 years in the U.S. Northeast Region

Weight: 60 pounds

Toughness: Has flipped on 5 occasions. No injuries.

Pedigree: Supportive father

Racing Idols: Michael Shumacher, Lewis Hamilton

Beats kids older than him: Yes

Home track: Oakland Valley Race Park in Cuddeback, NY

Swagger: Nickname "Smooth" has nothing to do with racing. From GQ: One night Santino dined with his dad at a Florida Hooters when Santino wandered off and was spotted chatting up a gaggle of waitresses. A good while later, he came back and said, “Dad, I’m going to the movies with them at nine. Don’t worry – it’s right across the street.”

Legend: Wins all of his races with blurry vision. He’s getting glasses soon. He says he wins because he has great “hand talent” which he says means “knowing when to turn.”

Jack Miller Jr. – “The winner of the 2025 Indianapolis 500.” –Indianapolis Monthly

Featured in: Indianapolis Monthly magazine, May issue (by Daniel S. Comiskey)

Record: Unbeaten

Weight: 40 pounds

Toughness: Watched video of his dad’s career ending fiery crash in 2001 and earned his own trip to the hospital by flipping his kart. None of it scares him.

Pedigree: His dad, Jack Miller Sr., raced in the Indianapolis 500 from 1997-1999

Racing Idol: His dad

Beats kids older than him: Yes

Home track: The one in his back yard built by his dad.

Winning quote: “I want to win every race. It will be easy. I’m going to lap the entire field. They try to beat me, but they never will.”

Swagger: While I was talking to his dad over the phone, Jack Jr. yelled from the background, “There’s just no competition!”

Legend: Decided to start a race in last even though he had won the pole (which would enable him to start first) because races were too easy. He still won.

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