WINDSOR JUNCTION: Since being introduced to the bandolero division at Scotia Speedworld, Ayden Christensen has had his heart set on getting behind the wheel.

The eight-year-old has got to do that for the past four months in the Hydraulics Plus Beginner Bandolero division during CARSTAR Weekly Racing Series action every Friday night during the summer. He races against 11 other racers who are new to the class and are being eight and 15. Eight of the 12 drivers are rookies, including Christensen.

Christensen, who drives the Jeff Gordon-coloured no. 24 Capilano Construction-Rooftight Construction-sponsored bando, sits sixth in points as of July 19, just 12 points back of fourth-place. He chose no. 24 because that’s the number of his favourite NASCAR Monster Energy Series driver, Chase Elliott.

He said he got his start after watching two friends who race bandoleros.

“Last year I went and watched bandos a lot as my dad snow plows for a guy whose two kids race them,” said the Windsor Junction boy. “I thought it was pretty cool.”

Christensen asked his dad if he could go racing, and Morten—his dad—said yes he could.

“It’s fun to drive around the race track,” he said.

He has noticed a change in his driving since the year’s first green flag. Christensen has always watched NASCAR on TV with his dad.

“I’m getting faster and more comfortable with it,” he said.

Christensen does have plans for the future. He said his friends are jealous when he tells them he races.

“When I’m a teen I hope we will build a Pro Stock and then buy a Legend car,” he said smiling ear-to-ear. “I want to keep going.”

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Pat has grown up in East Hants, having called Milford, and now Enfield home. He graduated from the journalism program at Holland College in 2001, and has spent time at newspapers in NL and Alberton and Summerside, PEI before becoming a reporter/photographer at The Weekly Press/The Laker in October 2008. He has a rescue kitty named Asha that is much loved—and spoiled. Pat is also our "social engagement guru." Check him out on twitter!