Phil Peterson, An Enduro Racer With a Mission
Ft. Lauderdale racer, Phil Peterson has a mission when he hauls his 94
Chevy, red, white and blue fire and NYPD Enduro police car to the track
and it's not just about winning for him.
His personal mission, and his means to accomplish it are noticeable. He
wants to help the sport expand and become a permanent part of American
His goals: Increase the number of fans and racers at every track,
encourage minorities to begin racing more and to give something back to
the community by using racing to assist charities.
His race car is his way of reminding spectators and racers to remember
what our country has endured on 9/11/01 and the aftermath. It's his way of
dedicating something to the heroes and victims one and all wherever they
The car number is 88x, yet the nickname the children have given it is what
really matters to Phil, the "bubble car".
Phil's patriotic Enduro is a favorite with these younger fans, the "bubble
car" with flashing emergency lights across the top are unique and enjoyed
by the older spectators too. Phil enjoys children and can often be seen
putting them in his race car after the races.
"It's great to win. There is more to it than that for me," said Phil, when
mentioning his career highlights so far. It's not just a victory that
makes him happy to be in Enduro racing, which he just started in 2001,
it's his sincere desire to see "an all American sport expand" in many
aspects, from more women and Afro-Americans jumping into a racecar and
race to bringing new fans to the tracks for the races. In Phil's opinion
women are great Enduro racers because they tend to be calmer and have more
patience. "Anybody can do this if they want to," he claims.
"It's a fifty-fifty deal, part of it is the tracks' fault and part the
minorities who spend their money on other things. This is one of the only
sports that a woman can compete in with men and be winners because they
tend to be more patient," he said.
Phil's skill on the track is admirable, he's smooth, consistent, giving
his all and showing respect to his fellow racers. Phil admits his 350
Chevy NYPD/Fire Tribute Car is not a front runner, he says it's all about
patience on the track and concentration.
Running backwards for the last 50 laps is great for tire traction but it's
a little nervy according to Phil. He's not a big fan of backward racing
because the driver's door is exposed to the wall and most tracks aren't
set up for that type of racing. Phil is a safety conscienous racer, the
exposed embuttments being changed, solid concrete walls padded with more
tires to protect the racer would make him a lot happier about the
"I don't care how safe it is, that wall hurts," he said with a grin, "I
try to stay cool when I'm out there." Ideally, Phil would like the safety
standards to be set on similar Nascar guidelines. "You can never be safe
enough," he says.
His open and warm attitude seems to be a magnet that draws people to him,
and that in Phil's opinion is another benefit to racing. He enjoys people
asking questions, trying to learn more about Enduro racing and always
takes time to answer questions.
Phil's rookie year in Enduro racing landed him a 17th place finish.
In 2003 Phil Peterson would be a two time feature winner at Hialeah
Speedway, one event the Cyclone Road Race, and the other the Cyclone Tire
Race. Both difficult Enduro races to win and accomplishments to be proud
He hasn't had a win at Charlotte County Speedway yet, however Phil is
confident he'll be in Victory Lane during 2004 in his new Tribute car.
Be sure to stop and say hi to Phil when you see him at Charlotte County
Speedway or Hialeah Speedway. If you have never been in an Enduro car,
just ask Phil and you'll get the experience of being behind the wheel,
even if you are just sitting still.