Burning Rubber



The highest speed limit in Greenwich is forty miles per hour, and downtown traffic is moved around by the sobering, old-world presence of uniformed policemen rather than impersonal traffic lights. The town is working on a 'traffic calming' policy. It's not exactly a place for speed demons.

But within Greenwich's borders live some of the fastest people on earth, and if they have to go out of town to compete, that just makes Greenwich a great home base. Meet three neighbors who happen to be racing drivers in their spare time. Some people might be content to stay home and play NASCAR Thunder on their Nintendos, but these folks have a passion for the real thing on tracks around the world, from Lime Rock to LeMans.

When he got his first set of Big Wheels, four-year-old Sam Christie set up some traffic cones and turned his Cos Cob driveway into a racecourse, complete with checkered flags. It was hardly surprising, then, that by the time he was eight he'd already graduated to racing go-karts at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk. Now a sixteen-year-old tenth-grade honor student at Greenwich High School, Sam is as obsessed with racing as ever. With his father, Mike, as crew chief, he is ascending up a competitive hierarchy that he hopes will lead to a prestigious ride in the hugely popular 200-mile-per-hour NASCAR series someday.