CONCORD, N.C. -- Matthew Davey grew up idolizing Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. This summer the 14-year-old racer is driving on the very same track where his favorite drivers raced back in May.
Davey is one of the participants competing in the Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
He has been racing since the age of five and made the move from Arizona to Charlotte because the Queen City is the home of NASCAR.
Asked about his earliest memory in his race car, Matthew said, "As I got used to the car, I started going faster and faster to see how I would go."
"The first couple years it was a lot of fun for him, but as he got older he got more serious about it," said Matt's dad, David.
There was a time when Davey's racing future was very much in jeopardy. Matthew spent most of the 2011 race season away from the track, suffering from a condition that affected his ball joint, known as Perthes disease.
Matt's mother, Jenny, remembers her son's struggles well. "There were a lot of questions, was his career gonna survive it," she said.
Matthew returned to racing and victory lane at Albuquerque last year. His car, the number 10 Ford, has a pink and black paint scheme in support of breast cancer awareness. Matthew's had several family members diagnosed with some form of cancer and his car's paint scheme is his way of honoring them.