Racing driver, 10, already a veteran at Grand Bend track

10-year-old driver Logan Chapman and his micro sprint racing car. Troy Shantz

Troy Shantz

When Logan Chapman informed his mother he wanted to become a race car driver, she was reluctant.

Understandably.

He was 6 years old.

“Mom,” he said. “I may look like you but racing is in my blood.”

Nor has Logan’s passion diminished with age, Melissa Chapman said.

“When he’s not racing he can’t wait to get back into that car and onto the track.”

Now 10, Logan recently completed his third season of competition in the micro-sprint class at Grand Bend Speedway.

The Bridgeview School student in Point Edward and third-generation racer posted six first-place finishes.

“Logan wasn’t outside the top three all year,” said his dad and mechanic Jason Chapman.

“Our goal is always to have fun. If something this cool can’t be fun, there’s no point in doing it.”

During the May-to-August race season father and son are often found in the family garage tinkering on Logan’s bright red, 6.5-horsepower sprint car.

The car, which can reach speeds of 65 km/h, bears the number 01 – the one his dad raced under.

Logan has played sports but is most comfortable on the track, like his father and grandfather.

Dad Jason Chapman raced the Enduro series at Delaware in the early 2000s. One day he brought the family, and when a friend won the race Logan, then 5, rode in the car for the victory lap around the track, waving the checkered flag.

“After that, he was hooked,” his dad said. “We weren’t hockey players or baseball players… we were car guys.”

In his second season of racing, Logan Chapman made the podium three times. In addition to the six victories this season, he had nine second-place finishes and four thirds.

“I think my best finish was a top 10,” his dad said. “To hear, ‘the 01 Chapman is taking the lead,’ it gets you right here. I’m so proud of Logan’s accomplishments.”

Close calls and crashes are part of the sport, Jason Chapman said. A bent fender and stripped gear are mounted on the garage wall, a reminder that on the track things can change in an instant, he said.

Logan’s car has a full containment racing seat, five-point harness and roll bars. All racers wear helmets, fire suits and neck protection.

“When he’s leading I’m most nervous. They’re starting to use their bumpers more… they’re getting more aggressive. Everybody wants that checkered flag,” Jason Chapman said.

Though not an inexpensive sport, he estimates it doesn’t cost any more than hockey. And a handful of sponsors help offset the costs, he added.

Logan Chapman plans to race Junior Sprint this year at Grand Bend, and compete in four races at Varney Speedway in Durham, Ont.