Kids in race cars? What fun! Racing Dreams keeps up with three youngsters as they compete in the World Karting Association’s National Series, all while stumbling headfirst into puberty and pursuing hopes of someday racing in NASCAR. Alongside them are parents just as ambitious, yelling from the sidelines and chaperoning them around the country.
What’s nice about the parent-child dynamic here is that it isn’t the usual story of villainous moms and dads living vicariously through their children. Not to say that the parents aren’t strictly managing the burgeoning careers of their kids and pushing them to extremes. There’s plenty of that going on, and the kids push back with all the force of early adolescence. But NASCAR is a powerful cultural force in the lives of these subjects, and in the end it’s obvious that the kids want to be the next Jeff Gordon as much as their parents want them to be — the story pivots around teamwork, not exploitation.
Racing Dreams is a wholesome flick with plenty of ups and downs and laughs and gasps to keep even someone who hasn’t watched a day of NASCAR in their life (like myself) wrapped up in the coming of age of three drivers who — I assume — could be all-stars someday. Catch it for its second viewing Saturday at 11:30 a.m.