Editor’s Note: SPEED SPORT Magazine features a racer under the age of 17 in every issue. The September issue of the publication profiled off-road racer Russell Boyle, whose career goal is to be an Indy car driver. Here’s an excerpt from that story.
Even though he’s got ground to make up, the series has grown on Boyle so much that it’s challenged his longtime goal of making it in the open-wheel ranks. Despite being centered around off-road trucks, the Stadium Super Trucks series runs on a lot of asphalt like he grew familiar with in karting — enough to make Boyle “kind of” consider going the off-road route with his career.
The budget has a lot to do with that, too. The series utilizes what Gordon calls a “franchise system,” in which competitors purchase trucks prepared by him and are able to put less time and money into adjustments and repairs made to the vehicle.
Compared to the steps on the Verizon IndyCar Series development ladder, the Mazda Road to Indy, racing the trucks is just better for the budget.
“At this point, it’s kind of just looking for the budget,” Boyle said. “That’s the whole thing with the trucks — it’s very budget friendly compared to going into Pro Mazda (Championship), where you’re paying for the damage and the cars are a lot more open to (being damaged) easily. It’s just a lot easier that way.”
Budget isn’t the only thing Boyle has to worry about. At 16 years old, he’s a full-time high school student and things get “pretty busy at times.” But over the years, Boyle has learned how to balance racing and school.
“A couple of years ago I couldn’t balance it as much, but this last year was great,” Boyle said. “(I got) awesome marks in school and racing has been always good — it’s just kind of scheduling your ways and organizing yourself. It’s all about organizing yourself.”
As for organizing his future, Boyle has plans whether he makes it in the racing world or not. No matter what, he said landing a job in any aspect of racing “would be great.”
“I’m very interested in computer design and designing things, so that’s one of my backup plans,” Boyle said. “I’d like to stay in the racing world as much as I can — maybe even work for the technical side of it.
“I’ve been thinking of college and I’ve been thinking of going straight to the workplace,” he continued. “But it’s a whole blur right now, deciding on what to do and how my racing career is going to affect that. If something happens with a ride or I get involved with another series, it all changes really, really fast. So you just kind of (have to) plan, but be ready to re-plan.”