Each week, The Athletic asks the same 12 questions to a different racing driver. Upcoming: Rico Abreu, Rico Abreu Racing Sprint Car Team Driver / Owner. This interview has been edited slightly for clarity.

1. When you meet someone who doesn’t know who you are, do you ever lie about what you do for a living?

No, I tell them I race for a living. And then I try to explain a little bit about the racing car I’m running with. It’s a 900 horsepower open wheel car that runs on an oval dirt track, and then I usually show them my photos. I like to talk about it. It’s exciting for me. And it’s something where I can really have a conversation about the race.

Some people don’t know what sprint car racing is. They’ve heard of NASCAR, IndyCar, or Formula 1. So you have to explain that we run on dirt and it’s an open wheel car and they go really fast.

2. Which current pilot have you known the longest?

Probably my good friend Bud Kaeding from California. I met the Kaeding family in early 2008 or 2007 when I started racing. The Griffins family, who are my neighbors, got me into the run, but they don’t run anymore. So probably the Kaeding family and Bud Kaeding would be the ones that I have known the longest and against which I am still competing today.

3. Can you describe what it is like to crash into a racing car?

It is not a good feeling. That’s a lot of jerks and twists. If there are big crashes or head knocks where you stab the car, all you have is those aggressive, vicious, back-and-forth jerks. It’s something I don’t look forward to doing, but it happens in our sport. It can happen because of a bad decision during the race or things can happen out of your control where you end up in crazy crashes.



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