DEPEW, N.Y. (WIVB) - Dale Earnhardt said that finishing races is important, but racing is more important. One young man from Depew is doing both, and surprising quite a few people along the way.
In the video you can see a 600 mini sprint race car roll off a trailer and roar as it takes a lap. The car isn’t in a race track, it’s in the Depew Middle School parking lot. The race car driver doesn’t even have his driver’s license yet.
Dane Lorenc is 14 years old, and the youngest driver ever to enter the pro class. His love for racing started with a dirt bike when he was just five years old.
Lorenc said, "I went to the dealership and said to my grandpa that I wanted it, and he said not until I could touch the ground on it, but I couldn't touch the ground yet so I tilted the bike and said that I could touch the ground."
Now he is racing cars at up to 120 miles an hour. He started the mini sprints two years ago, at Paradise Speedway in Geneva, New York.
Dane’s grandfather Dean Pratt said, “So they announced that he was the youngest person to turn pro at this track and then at the end of the race, he was the youngest person to win it.So he's got a future ahead of him.”
Dean works for his racing sponsor, who owns an auto shop in Depew, and does almost everything you would expect a mechanic to do.
Sponsor Mark Golba said, “Puts in all his own motors, works on the cars, couldn't ask for a better kid, talented kid.”
Many of Dane’s friends have never seen his car. Dane laughed, “They probably won't believe me that I drive a race car, so I just keep it to myself.”
At school, Dane does his work quietly. You would never know that he wins key races, keeping up with it all can be a balancing act.
Dane said, “I have a lot of work to do on the car after school so I've got to do homework and work on the car after school and the, go to bed.”
Dane doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Dane said, “Yea I would love to do this as a career. We're gonna move up next year to a 360, it's a full-size sprint car and it has a 360 car engine and its 800 horsepower.”
You can bet we'll hear more of Dan Lorenc as he races his way to more victories.
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