that Wyatt had the speed as he got down to competitive times immediately. The next question was did he know how to race, as that’s a different skill set from just diving the car really fast. Well, that Mid- Ohio race weekend convinced us all: he’s the real deal.” In the past, his parents had worried about him spending so much time on the computer. But without iRacing, Wyatt says, he would never have been able to race. “A lot of people underestimate it, they think of it just as a game, but it is incredibly realistic. You may not get the same adrenaline rush as in real life but you learn your way around. Most people don’t understand how much mental focus it takes to drive a racecar faster than your competition.” “Competing is my favorite thing. I like to find ways to be better than others. It wasn’t until I got serious about karts that I realized how far you can push yourself.” He had to make the most of the Mid-Ohio opportunity, as he had nothing else going on. “I knew I was going to have to do something big at Mid-Ohio to stand out.” In the three days of practice and qualifying, Wyatt was either first or second on every time sheet in a strong 29-car field. Wyatt is finding good partners and making his opportunities count. He has his feet on the ground and is self-aware. He blogs for a Cleveland newspaper and iRacing runs his race reports on its website. “I have a lot of followers through iRacing,” says Wyatt. “They can relate to me. I’m a simple person. I haven’t had it handed to me.” He is impressing the right people. Marc Sours, the General Manager and Chief Engineer of Honda Performance Development, Inc., was at Mid-Ohio. “He’s fast, but I was also taken with the maturity that he displayed in the paddock. He seems to have more poise than most young adults who are in their early 20s. Couple this with the speed that he demonstrated on the track, and you have an impressive young man.” Just recently Wyatt was selected as a finalist in the prestigious Team USA Scholarship competition that could result in him racing for Team USA in England. “It was intense, both in and out of the car,” he says. “I think it went really well but I have to wait and see how the selection process goes.” Wyatt Gooden is a comic book action hero come to life. He has stepped off the pages and into his dream. With only iRacing and his home computer, he literally went to his home and turned his fantasy into reality. No doubt there are many talented young drivers out there – how many of them have created their own reality? But you are what you think. “I know I’ve got what it takes,” he says quietly.