Ladies and Gentlemen Start your Engines

Rebecca Richards






Phil Peterson, An Enduro Racer With a Mission

©Rebecca Richards
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 culture.
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 may be.

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 situation.

"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 of.

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.


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Revised: February 23, 2013