Michigan boy Keegan Sobilo could be future of NASCAR racing

Michigan boy Keegan Sobilo could be future of NASCAR racing

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At age 12, Keegan Sobilo of New Baltimore carefully tucks his legs and arms into a fire suit, pulls on a helmet and climbs into a race car that exceeds 80 mph.

He has been doing this since age 8.

“I’d stand underneath the grandstand, and whenever somebody would get close to Keegan on the track, I’d have to walk away,” said his mother, Hillary Sobilo, 46, a kindergarten teacher at Cleveland Elementary School in Port Huron.

“At first, I was scared to death. I was like, ‘Let’s do bowling or swimming.’ It’s still very scary. But he knows what he’s doing. Your heart goes out on that track every time he goes out there.”

The sixth-grader always arrives at the track in his pajamas. The first time he wore his choo-choo train jammies to the track, Keegan went from last place to ninth place. He decided they brought luck. Since then, he has racked up a series of championships.

Keegan Sobilo, 12, tries to get into his late model race car in the garage of his home in New Baltimore, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020.

With his first corporate sponsorship secured, Keegan is focused on NASCAR.

This year, he moves into a full-size race car — the kind professionals use.

“When I’m racing, I feel hot and tight in there, tight in the seat,” he said. “In the car, I don’t feel like I’m going that fast. When I go 90, it feels like you’re going 60. Sometimes when you’re going too fast, there’s not enough grip and you’re sliding.”

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