Ethan McQueen qualifies for E-Kart Championship

13-year-old McQueen will be the youngest competitor
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Posted at 5:48 AM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 18:34:49-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Ethan “Lightning” McQueen isn’t old enough to legally drive a car.

“You’re going about 45-50 miles an hour through the speed track,” he said.

But he’s hitting top speed in electric go-kart racing.

“I’ve been racing for six years,” McQueen told ABC Action News sports anchor Kyle Burger. “I started back in 2016. My dad took me and I loved it. Now my grand parents take me about every weekend.”

The 13-year-old middle school student from Clearwater is now one of the best e-kart drivers in the country.

"I am actually the youngest competitor in the American E-Kart Championship,” he said. “There are a few 15 and 17-year-olds racing, but it’s much older guys.”

McQueen qualified for the American E-Kart Championship by winning a local competition at the Tampa Bay Grand Prix. He is ranked No. 5 out of nearly one million drivers at the Tampa Bay Grand Prix two locations.

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“It’s really funny, sometimes when they finish a race, ‘how did that 13-year-old beat me?’ They’re a little like ‘what’s going on here?’” His grandmother Dottie McQueen said. “His grandpa comes, and he gives him pointers, and we are very proud of him.”

McQueen also gets help from other experienced drivers at the Grand Prix.

“I talk to my friend named Kevin. He tells me to get on the inside, he shows my video clips, and tell me what to do in this,” he said.

But most of all, you have to have the instinct to react.

“You need to be able to predict where people are going to go on the track,” McQueen said. “If they catch some rubber on the edge of the track, they can lose control. You have to be ready for that.”

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The American E-Kart Championship is from September 22-25. It will be held at Autobahn Indoor Speedway in Jacksonville.