For the first time, brothers Allan and Artie Pedersen are competing head-to-head with one another on a weekly basis at Riverhead Raceway.
Not much animosity can be detected, however. There's not much of a sibling rivalry. Sure, each brother wants to win, but both said seeing the other succeed is equally important.
"We'll get more competitive as we get older, but this is the first season we're going against one another because we were in different age groups at the go-kart level," Artie, 17, said. "If we can finish first and second then that's great, but we're definitely not trying to wreck one another -- especially since mom and dad own both cars."
Heading into Saturday, Artie, who had his streak of three top-five finishes snapped last week, is sixth in the legend standings with 184 points and Allan is 15th (126 points). Artie, a senior at Center Moriches High School, said he will graduate in two weeks, and plans to race that same night. In addition to his racing prowess, Allan, 15, could be the starting goalie for the Center Moriches varsity lacrosse team next year.
They are not the only Pedersens racing at Riverhead, as both their uncles, Arne and Scott, are former figure- eight champions and still compete in the division.
"I'm so proud of my sons for all they have accomplished and continue to do at such a young age, especially with continuing our family name," said Artie Pedersen Jr., an accomplished racer as well. "When other racers compliment them on how they race, that means the most to me. But they can be so hard on themselves at times."
The boys competed in go-karts since they were 5 or 6, they said, and it didn't take long for championships to accumulate. Now, both are enjoying success in the legends division and the transition has been a smooth one.
"I love what I'm doing because it's really fun and exciting," Allan said. "And I've learned that racing is racing, so it shouldn't be that hard."
Along with natural ability, both brothers are driven by the idea of becoming as good as they possibly can.
"Every week I say to myself, 'Was this the best I can do,' " Artie said. "If it is, then I am pretty satisfied and if not I just think about how I could improve."