Annabeth Barnes (11 years old)
By age 11, Annabeth Barnes has become one of the hottest female racers in the karting world, with 53 poles and 32 wins, several in some of the biggest races in the country. A third-generation racer, Annabeth started out as a 7-year-old in the Naskart Kids class, with her kart painted like Terry Labonte’s #5 car. When tall, thin Annabeth, who wore her hair cropped short, started racing, boys on the track sometimes made fun of her, calling her “Man-a-Beth.” But their teasing stopped when they saw her race. She resides in Hiddenite, North Carolina (a state nicknamed “NASCAR Valley”), and she frequently spends Saturday nights watching stock car races at the Hickory Motor Speedway with her family, or re-watching her favorite movie, Talladega Nights.
Brandon Warren (13 years old)
Brandon Warren, 13, lives with his grandparents in rural Creedmoor, North Carolina, in a home filled with racing memorabilia (two matching Richard Petty rocking chairs sit in the living room beside a stack of racing magazines and Brandon’s airbrushed helmet). Brandon’s grandfather does paint and body repairs for a Hooters Pro Cup driver, and Brandon is not afraid to trade some paint on the track himself. But Brandon’s quick temper and daredevil side worry his grandmother, who thinks he should follow in the footsteps of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and attend military school to get the discipline he needs.
Josh Hobson (12 years old)
Josh Hobson was born and raised just north of Flint, Michigan and started racing when he was 5 years old. At 12 years old, Josh stands 4 feet 10 inches tall, but his demeanor is commanding both in school and on the track. He is well spoken and polite, and he understands that in addition to being a great driver, it’s important to represent sponsors well if he wants to keep racing. With seven Grand National wins and four national championships under his belt, he is hoping to move up to a full sized American Speed Association (ASA) race car after this season.