MARANA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Where do NASCAR dreams begin?
They begin on quarter midget tracks across the United States, where kids as young as five years old strap into the 25-mile an hour racers to begin learning the art of turning left and hitting lines.
Marana's Gage McCoy is a perfect example. After a bike wreck at the age of 5, his parents thought it might be safer to put him behind the wheel of a race car.
Born was The Gageanator and he's been tearing it up ever since.
The now seven-year old won the Tucson Quarter Midget Association's Blue Rookie division this season. TQMA is the home youth track of current NASCAR driver Alex Bowman of Tucson, who is in his 2nd season on the Sprint Cup circuit.
The Gageanator, riding in a quarter midget he nicknamed Gumby, has three wins and a 3rd place finish this year in the United States Auto Club's Duel in the Desert Western Regional Championship series.
McCoy, a second-grader at Twin Peaks Elementary School, will move up to the Junior Honda division this fall.
He has already caught the eye of Dennis Rice, a longtime quarter midget chassis builder, who is credited with being one of the early spotters of NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon, the four-time Sprint Cup champion.
McCoy will join local drivers on the track Saturday August 15 for the final run of TQMA's Summer Series. Racing begins at 7 p.m. and admission is free.