TIGARD, Ore. -- Most parents might not choose race car driving as a hobby for their kids but a Portland Dad has no regrets. His son, 15-year-old Luke Selliken, is about to compete for a world championship in karting.

It was a hobby we discovered as I was searching for something that would give us time together, remembered Garron Selliken. He started riding in a tandem kart with me driving. He gave me a thumbs up and yelled: 'It s good Dad!

The hobby took off from there, eventually turning into a competitive sport for Luke.

On November 9 in New Orleans, Luke will drive a 200-pound kart at high speeds in the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals.

It s so fast for the track. Going 80 miles an hour in a kart is like 120 miles per hour in a normal car, explained Luke.

He's a student at Portland s Catlin Gabel and trains at Sykart in Tigard.

Luke said it takes a combination of physical control and mental clarity to succeed in karting.

It s the toughest sport I ve ever tried and it s 90 percent mental, he remarked.

You need tremendous hand-eye coordination and have to be able to strategize, added his Dad.

Luke has been described as the USA s best hope at the race in New Orleans next week which will attract drivers from 60 countries. He hopes his success in the kart world will eventually turn into a NASCAR career.

Luke's family hopes to raise some money to help pay for his trip to New Orleans through a crowd- funding campaign on

A lot of professional drivers say karting is the hardest thing they ve ever done, said the 15-year old who dreams of taking it to the next level before he even has his Oregon drivers license. Next summer I ll get it but it takes a different kind of driving skill, he concluded.

Read or Share this story: