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Cameron Hayley was 15 years old when he became the youngest-ever driver to start in the K&N Pro Series West, earning a place on the Nascar Next 9, a group said to be the future of the sport. Ranking third so far this season, the 16-year-old Calgarian spends more time in airplanes than in race cars. We caught up with him before he flew off to a race in Denver, Colorado.

Calgarian Cameron Hayley

Do you have any pre-race rituals?
I always bring licorice to the track. It's tough to find the long Nibs in the U.S., so I bring them with me. When I started racing at 12, my crew chief's wife dangled a Nib in front of my windshield and promised if I qualified, I could eat it. I qualified first.

What's your favourite food city?
My new crew is really into seafood, but my dad and I aren't. In Phoenix, they brought us to Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen and made me try alligator, clams, mussels… Talk about peer pressure! Alligator was like a more tender chicken. Everybody says that everything "tastes like chicken," but it literally tasted just like chicken.

What was it like racing cars before having your drivers license?
I got that question a lot going through customs at 15; the customs agents had a hard time believing me before I got my license! I tried to explain that you don't need to know the rules of the road to race.

How do you discover a new destination?
Most of the time, we're speeding from one destination to the next. When you're doing three-hour round-trip flights each weekend, it's fly in, race, fly out. But we always end up at the mall, eating chicken wings at a Red Robin. It's my mission to eat great wings every place we go.



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