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Could a 12-Year-Old Become NASCAR's Best Ever?

The once flourishing sport of NASCAR has struggled in recent years, hurt by the effects of the recession. But there's hope on the horizon, in part from a 12-year-old driver who aspires to be the best ever, as CBS News correspondent Jeff Glor reports.

Gray Gaulding is nothing if not focused.

"People say you have friends on the racetrack, but when you put the helmet on and are strapped in there are no friends," Gaulding said.

This is coming from a 12-year-old. A 12-year-old with his own racetrack in the backyard, his own table at a local restaurant, his own sandwich on the menu, and his own racing team.

"Gray is a great son," his father Dwayne Gaulding said. "I was very blessed to have an awesome son."

Gray also has a very supportive family.

"We moved from Virginia to here just for my racing career," Gray Gaulding said.

The Gauldings picked up and moved from Virginia to North Carolina in 2008 just so Gray could be closer to the charlotte motor speedway.

He began racing motorbikes at age three and is now the youngest driver in racing's Legends Division, racking up 10 wins in 30 starts and winning $20,000 this year alone, speeding down the track at 130 mph.

Gray has his sights set on one day topping the record seven overall NASCAR championships won by Dale Earnhardt or the four straight won more recently by Jimmie Johnson.

Asked by what age he thinks he could accomplish those feats, Gray replied, "You know really I don't know, but I just gotta thank my sponsor gunbroker.com."

That's right, gunbroker.com, an internet seller of handguns which Gray mentions often.

"There ain't no other sponsor come along I feel comfortable with," Dwayne Gaulding said.

Dwayne negotiates gray's sponsorships and manages his media training. They practice interviewing on car trips.

"Some people say that I have too much camera. But there's never too much of the camera, because you never know who's watching," Gray said.

Dwayne Gaulding bristles at the notion he pushes his son too hard. He calls gray "highly self-motivated." with self-imposed daily runs - even a racing simulator in his bedroom.

"Some people choose to play sports, or go to camps on days like that, but I choose to go racing," Gray said.

Even though he can hardly wait, Gray will have to show a little patience. He can't race on the Sprint Cup NASCAR circuit until he turns 21.

URL: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/...tml?tag=excls

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Posted in: News by NewsBot on August 22, 2010 @ 1:14 AM



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