Box Stock Racing Puts Children in the Driver’s Seat

SALISBURY, NC — You have seen go karts, you have seen soapbox racing, and of course you have seen NASCAR. But there is nothing quite like box stock racing.

“It looks fun and it is fun,” said seven-year-old Mason Treder.

“I just was like ‘woohoo’ but in real life, I am happy, I got this, I did it and I cannot celebrate right now because I am trying to focus,” said ten-year-old Nova Palermo.

Tucked deep in Rowan county lies Millbridge Speedway, known across the country as Raceworld USA.

Drivers ages five to 14 take to the dirt in a variety of cars and skill levels. Keep your eye off the roster and you will find full blown competition. Heat races, qualifying, main events, maintenance, regulation and more, as the parents put their drivers in the spotlight.

“We do all we can in here. Flip it upside down, turn it inside out whatever. But the minute it goes on that racetrack it is not mine any more it is hers. It is her office, its what she does,” said Jason Palermo, Nova’s father.

Kids from all over tell different stories about how they got into the sport. It was love at first sight for Nova.

“Almost every day in the middle of summer two kids in little go carts would just go by and I would be like ‘I want to ride with them, I want to ride with them,’ and then dad asked me a question, ‘If I buy you a race car would you race in it?’ and I was like heck yeah and now here I am racing,” said Nova.

Alongside Treder and nine-year-old Eli Kane, the three compete for Kennedy racing.

“Mason Treder was a fluke! We just gave him a shot last year, we stuck him in a car and he literally lit the world on fire and I said ‘Holy cow this kid has got talent’ and I remember the first time he got out of the car he said ‘That’s just like the NASCAR game only faster,” said Jason.

Make no mistake there is nothing little about this league. As it gives kids the chance to grow, compete and create memories to last a life time.

“I made a mistake where I kept on pressing the gas and the brake at the same time and so smoke kept coming out of everywhere, but then I was like I can win this last heat race and so I started doing it again and I’m like ‘How did I lose and my dad was like ‘Because you kept pressing the brakes and the gas,” explained Kane in between fits of laughter.

Even with sponsors, parents put a lot in their kids passion, and they say the payoff is more than worth it.

“A lot of work and a lot of money sitting here but I cannot imagine anywhere else I would spend this money and get the education and the upbringing she’s gonna get. Its not gonna happen anywhere else,” said Jason.