Bobby Klein is starting his career early. The 5-year-old Levittown resident is on his way to becoming a race car driver.
Bobby, a home-schooler, races in what's called a quarter midget racer, which is specially designed for young racers between 5 and 16 years old.
"When he was three and a half, he saw his first NASCAR race," says Bobby's father, Chuck Klein. "[He] fell in love with racing."
Bobby's idol is NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon, who also started racing quarter midget cars at the age of 5.
Bobby first attended a live race car show with his family when he was 4 years old, and that was when they found the opportunities for young race car drivers. With help from his parents, Bobby started saving his own money for a car so that he could begin competing when he turned 5.
The drivers are required to take a five week course to learn hand signals, flag signals, and how to use receivers in their helmets.
"It teaches them so much," Klein said, "Discipline, sportsmanship."
So far Bobby has competed in six races and placed top three in each, with one first-place win. He also took second place at the United States Auto Club Dirt Triple Crown in Phoenixville on Monday, June 9.
"The race at Phoenixville was great," Klein said. He added that Bobby's competitors are often older and more experienced drivers, but that he's still racing successfully and making friends.
"I actually just made some friends at the track," Bobby said.
"The one thing about this sport, you will see compared to any other sport -- you're never gonna see the kind of sportsmanship you see here," said Klein.
Although quarter midget racing is a club sport, all the competitors will help fix others' cars, no matter what club they belong to.
"This sport is 100 percent about the kids," Klein said.
Bobby will be racing at Phoenixville tonight.
"Yeah, two of my friends who I like will be there tonight," Bobby said. He also told Patch that he expects to win.
"It could be an 18 hour day for me," Klein said. "It's a very dedicated sport."