Seven year old Austin Geer not only took the checkered flag at The Halloween Classic, but he also won the top prize, two large bags of candy. The win capped Geer's second season of quarter midget racing at his home track in Atlanta.
"It meant a lot to win this race because I want to be the points champion next year," said the young driver. "This win makes me feel like I am going to win every race next year."
"What I like most about winning is driving around the track holding the checkered flag," Geer continued. "It's hard to hold it if you drive too fast but I still do it anyway."
"Next year when I win, I'm going to slide my car through the infield grass."
The Halloween Classic fielded drivers between the ages of 5 to 16 years old. Geer, along with his race buddies actually had to help dry the track after a rain delay, grabbing leaf blowers and brooms to get the track ready for racing.
Once the track dried and the green flag flew, Geer was all business. His father Charles shared that his son Austin was solely focused on getting "his two bags of candy."
Geer led early in the race, driving a perfect line and controlling his loose race car like a pro. He was challenged only once for the lead with six laps to go, but refused to give up his position.
Geer and his challenger bumped through the turn and both cars began to spin. But Geer was determined to hang on to his lead and saved the car, maintaining his lead and even beginning to lap the field.
When the checkered flag flew, the young winner beat his steering wheel in celebration. His father advised that his son said, "I knew I had him once we got to lapped traffic because I never lift."
Geer celebrated his first year this season in the Junior Honda Division, which focuses on drivers between the ages of 6 and 8 years. Geer's home track is a competitive one, known not only for being the track where Reed Sorenson grew up racing and but also for its history and stiff competition.
Geer's father Charles was most pleased with his son's performance at this competitive track. "I enjoyed seeing my son get this win because Austin really works hard and this allows him to see his hard work pay off."
With the win under his belt, young Austin and his family will close out the racing season next week in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"I can't wait to race in North Carolina," Geer said. "This is my first time going there."
Geer, who has nicknamed his car "Myrna" said, "Myrna likes cold weather and has been fast in the last four races. Dad thinks he is going to make the car competitive for this race."
Geer will also be visiting family friends Charlie Langenstein, mechanical director for the No. 24 and No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports teams, and his racer son, also named Austin. Geer will get a tour around the Hendrick shop, which the young racer is very much looking forward to seeing.
Geer and his family will next visit with Ken Ragan of 600 Racing and will see the shop where they build the Bandolero and Legends cars. The young racer, who loves to watch the "older kids" race, also plans to attend a race in Concord, North Carolina to watch Chase Elliott, Bill Elliott's son, race late models, as well as checking out Austin Langenstein run in the Bandoleros at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
"I think we will be a little tired after that," shared Austin's parents.
On the completion of this racing season and their race visits, the Geers intend to take some family time off. Their plans include mountain biking, fishing, and camping.
Geer will then get back to racing in 2010 with a new quarter midget chassis. He looks forward to competing at the national championships at "Indy" and preparing his move to Bandoleros in the fall of 2010.
"He just loves being at the track all the time," Geer's proud parents said. And Austin keeps telling anyone that will listen, "I want to be a race car driver when I grow up."