The Boston Globe
"A RACING TRADITION"
At Riverside Speedway, a quarter-mile track in Groveton, New Hampshire, anyone 10 and over can race full-powered stock cars around the track at 50 miles per hour. Around here, racing is a tradition handed down from generation to generation. So is starting out young. Because the speedway is private property and the children are not driving in a public way, state law does not forbid it. It is an activity parent’s laud as a way to teach self-reliance, safety behind the wheel, and maturity. “If you got the guts and your parents say you can do it, you can do it,” says Pete Gilcris, father of young racer “Nitro” Nick Gilcris. In this far-flung corner of the state racing is a welcome diversion, and an economic driver, in a region where the median family income is little more than half the state average. In particularly hard-hit Groveton, some racers hope that their stock cars will be a ticket out of town. But for most, the track is a reason to stick around.
9-year-old Ariel Switser works on her racing car in the family garage in West Burke, Vermont. Following in the footsteps of her brother and father, Ariel will be old enough to race this season in the youth division at Riverside Speedway in Groveton, N.H., and will be hitting speeds approaching 50 m.p.h. Asked what was the best part of her upcoming tenth birthday she replied, "I'll be double digits and I can race."