At age 11, when most boys are content to explore the world of racing vicariously through the wonders of video games, Heston Shaw was competing in dirt bikes and discovered he had an intuitive racing ability. By the time he was 12, Shaw climbed into his first "Tough Truck" and entered the world of Monster Truck competition. "Racing dirt bikes was fun, and I made a lot of good friends," said Shaw. "But the Tough Truck was awesome, and it was the funnest thing I've ever done."

His father, racing personality and Enid Motor Speedway promoter Harold Shaw, made the decision to put his son into a stock car near the end of last season.

"My grandpa (Harold Shaw Sr.) had built the factory stock for a friend, and he said I could try it out," said Heston Shaw. "My dad took me to Clinton to their Winter Nationals."

Though he admits his debut in a stock car was a little scary, Heston Shaw said he had a lot of fun and was a little disappointed because he didn't have a fast car. He anxiously is awaiting this year's return trip to the highly banked Hub City Speedway.

The youngest Shaw is a third-generation contender carrying on a family tradition with his initiation into the fast and furious world of stock car racing. His father was a racing sensation during the 1990s, competing in factory and street stock. His grandfather was a serious competitor during the '70s in the hobby stock division.

Racing is not just a hobby for the Shaw family. Harold and his wife, Paula, have promoted the local track for the past five seasons. Ironically, Heston Shaw cannot race on his parent's track because he is a few years shy of the 16-year-old age minimum. He anxiously is awaiting a return trip to Clinton this fall in his new ride.

"I will be racing a faster factory stock this year," said Heston Shaw. "My grandfather built me a new car, and I can't wait to try it out."

Crew members include his father, Jack and Travis Taylor and Kenny Smith. B.B. Machine, A-Ton Engine Repair, Mike's Automotive and PMS Racing sponsor Shaw's fast ride.

Shaw attends Hennessey Middle School, where he competes on the football, baseball and basketball teams.

This enthusiastic young stock car contender also plans to continue chasing checkered flags.

"My dad and I plan to travel and race at State Fairgrounds Speedway in Oklahoma City and many other places," said Heston Shaw. "I hope to become a big-time driver like Troy Gemmill someday. Getting to race against the big boys in Nextel Cup would be great."

Shaw sincerely loves cars and would like to be a mechanic. He said he plans to pursue his career goals by attending Autry Technology Center during high school.

Cheryl Licklider is a News -- Eagle sports writer.

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