But when it came down to it, being an auto mechanic was not the dream of Ricky’s life. What he really wanted was to become a race car driver. Whenever there was a race at the local track, Ricky would convince his father to take him there to watch the cars careening around the track. “Go number 9! You can do it!” His love for car races became so great that his friends nick named him Ricky Racer. But watching a race and driving in one are two different things. Would Ricky have what it takes to drive race cars when he was old enough? There was only one way to find out. When he was 12 years of age, Ricky entered his first race.
Now you have to remember that Ricky was only 12 years old. He was still in elementary school. So, he would not be driving a real race car. This race involved go-carts. If you’ve never seen a go-cart, you are missing out on something that is alot of fun. Go-carts are little cars which are powered by a lawn mower engine. They make a lot of noise but can’t go quite as fast as a real race car. They usually race around a dirt track so that if you have an accident, you just fall onto the dirt instead of onto the hard road. This was the perfect race for Ricky Racer’s first attempt at racing. And was was he ever excited!
The first thing that needed to be done was get the go-cart ready. That would take some careful planning. So, Ricky and his father bought the go-cart frame and body, the engine, and four wheels. As they began assembling it, everything went well. The body of the car was painted brilliant purple with orange stripes! His father really didn’t like those colors, but they were exactly what Ricky wanted. Then they installed the engine and attached it to the wheels. “Ricky!” said his father. “Yes, dad,” replied the boy. “I think you ought to give it a test run before we do anything else,” said his father. “It would be good to know if this engine is strong enough to move you around the dirt track.”
That was a good idea. So, Ricky pulled the cord and started the little engine before sliding behind the steering wheel of the little car. This was the moment he had been waiting for. Ricky was finally going to be able to drive his own car. And it was purple and orange—his favorite colors! He began dreaming of winning the race already and receiving the first place trophy. “This is awesome!” he thought. “Earth to Rick! Can you hear me?” said his father. “C’mon boy, give it a try.” It was hard to hear over the noise of the lawn mower engine. But Ricky knew what his dad was wanting him to do. So, he grabbed the lever that gave power to the wheels. And then…he pulled it. Bloomp! The engine stalled! “Oh, come on!” he said. He got out of the car and started the engine again. Then it happened.
Ricky had forgotten to take it out of gear. As soon as the engine started, the little car began running away from him. It ran right out of the garage. It began heading down the driveway toward the street. “Ha-a-a-l-p!” yelled Ricky as he and his dad ran after the runaway cart. But there was no stopping it. It kept going faster and faster. Would it ever stop? “Oh no!” said Rick’s dad. Ricky saw what his dad meant. The cart was heading across the street toward a parking lot full of nice and shiny cars. Ricky was so scared that he fell to the ground and covered his head. What’s going to happen to the go-cart? Will it hit a car and be damaged?
You’ll have to come back next time to find out.