Racing, she's a cruel mistress. She teases you with promises of glory and grandeur, and then, once you've given your life over to her, she turns her lusty eyes toward someone younger, someone still brimming with untapped potential. Someone like Sergio Pena, the only guy on earth who can both race well and make Joey Logano look like a grizzled vet.
Pena and Logano dueled last weekend at Irwindale Speedway's Toyota Shootout, the so-called "Daytona 500 of short-track racing." (At least they didn't call it the "Super Bowl of ... ") The race features a smattering of known and unknown drivers, and this year, Pena nearly pulled off the impossible.
He raced his way into a qualifying spot, then won the pole, then darn near won the whole 225-lap thing, posing the biggest scare Joey Logano has faced since he thought there were monsters in his closet way back in 2004.
Oh, and Pena is only 16 years old. Really. I'd bet there are Sprint Cup drivers who have burger wrappers and drink cups in their cars older than Pena. Now, Pena can't come over to the bigs until he's 18, but if he can run this well, we might be looking at the future of racing right here. Rookie of the year 2012, anyone?