UNC Charlotte freshman Ryan Bennett. Photo courtesy of Ryan Bennett

Moving 473 miles from his hometown Crownsville, Md., freshman Ryan Bennett has his eyes set on one thing: racing. Charlotte, as one of the biggest NASCAR cities in the country, offers Bennett a new opportunity for racing, especially after entering the annual Michael Waltrip Racing Competition.

“The competition is put on by Michael Waltrip Racing and sponsored by Peak Brand Oil. People from all over the country enter and the grand prize winner gets the opportunity to drive a NASCAR,” said Bennett.

Peak Brand Oil has a website where contestants create their own profiles and where fans can cast their votes. Bennett’s family, friends and fraternity brothers have all voted to help him succeed in the competition.

But according to Bennett, it’s not only the votes that matter.

“They pick 10 people based off five things: creativity of their profile, enthusiasm for racing, attention to the peak product, voting and accomplishments in racing,” he said.

Racing takes up a great deal of Bennett’s time, through various competitions and practicing for these competitions.

“I want to make a career out of it; that’s the whole reason for this [attending UNC Charlotte],” said Bennett.

Bennett is majoring in mechanical engineering with a concentration in motorsports.

“My dream is to drive a racecar. If I’m not driving a racecar, I’m working with one,” he said. “Every idol in my life has been a race car driver or someone in racing.”

To vote for Bennett to win the competition or to learn more, visit http://tinyurl.com/crg8u9y.

My name is Claire Dodd and I'm the News Editor for the Niner Times. This is my second year writing for the paper. I'm a sophomore majoring in Communications with a concentration in Mass Media, minoring in Journalism. Along with being a part of the staff of the newspaper, I'm also an athlete on the 49ers' Women's Club Volleyball Team.