- August 24, 2022
Sitting with his checkered kicks propped up on his parents' coffee table, Michael Nichols looked more relaxed than most adults do during an interview. Perhaps that's because compared to a Q&A with Dale Earnhardt Jr., the Ormond Beach Observer is a piece of cake.
"You haven't asked about the tie yet," the 11-year-old smiled while adjusting his matching checkered print bow-tie. "It was Dad's idea to have a NASCAR one, but then Mom came up with the checkered flag, and we liked that
better. It was 50/50."
The Pathways Elementary School fifth-grader made the rounds at the Daytona 500 in his checkered-print swagger this past weekend, interviewing big racing names like Danica Patrick and Carl Edwards as a co-host for Fox 35 Orlando. For the past year, Nichols has been documenting his love for everything racing on his Twitter and YouTube account, NASCAR Whiz Kid, and he's got big dreams for his future.
"I impress a lot of people." — Michael Nichols
"I've been into cars my whole life," the young Ormond Beach resident said. "I used to dream about driving cars before, but being president of NASCAR is safer."
His father, Mike Nichols, is thankful his son wants to go corporate route, even though he's not sure where his passion comes from.
"He's definitely the outlier of the family," Mike Nichols said. "But growing up in the birthplace of speed and in the shadow of the speedway, if your son is into cars, you need to take him to the track."
During his weekend at the 500, Michael Nichols interviewed 60 drivers, filmed a segment with FOX 35 Sports Anchor Adam Shadoff and was interviewed on "Racin' Nation Radio." Follow him on Twitter at @NascarWhizKid.