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Speed-Loving Los Gatos Teen Competing In Formula 4 US Championship In Texas

LOS GATOS (KPIX) -- A Bay Area teenager will be on one of racing's largest stages when he competes in the Formula 4 U.S. Championship this weekend in Austin, Texas.

Junior racer Max Parker and his peers will be competing on the same days and on the same track as the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix, which is the pinnacle in motorsports racing and made up of the best-of-the-best motor racing drivers.

"If you would've told me a year ago today that I'd be racing in front of 300,000 live people in Austin at the F1 Grand Prix in the United States, I would've not imagined that," said Parker.

The 19-year-old Los Gatos High School graduate began racing Formula cars just one year ago. But think about it. He was only legally able to obtain his driver's license three years ago. He turns 20 next week.

He said when he got behind the wheel of a Formula car for the first time, he did so well that both he and his father believed he could take it to the next level.

"So my dad and I just started as a hobby," he said. "I feel peaceful when I'm behind the wheel going those speeds. I feel at home."

He gives credit to his father, who has a love for racing dirt bikes, and his coach. Parker's team is named the Jensen Global Advisors.

The U.S. Grand Prix will get a slice of the Bay Area not only with Parker, who believes he's the only Northern California kid in the F4 U.S. Championship, but also with Parker's sponsor -- which is the South Bay's Sushi Confidential.

"You never would've dreamed seeing Sushi Confidential on the side of a race car," said the restaurant's owner Randy Musterer.

He said when Parker's father asked if he'd consider being his son's sponsor, he didn't hesitate. He said Bay Area residents should be happy that one of their local teens will be representing them this weekend.

"To be able to win enough races to be able to be invited to Austin, this is phenomenal for him," said Musterer.

Parker leaves for Austin on Wednesday. F4 drivers will qualify Friday ,and race the following two days. The winner will receive a scholarship to enter next year's regional championship, and the top seven drivers will earn Super License Points to help them move up the Formula motorsport ladder.

Parker said he doesn't have any nerves going into the race. He said he's ready to show everyone what he's got.

"I've just always had the need for speed," said Parker.

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