Cart racing may be what frenzied shoppers do during Black Friday sales, but kart racing with a "k" is often the first step -- well, first ride -- to professional auto racing. That makes the young competitors of truTV's new reality show "Kart Life," premiering Wednesday night at 10, as far removed from kiddies at the amusement park as Johnny Weir is from ice skaters at the local pond.
And in that circuit, Dylan Tavella, 12, of Massapequa, and Gio Bromante, 11, of Lattingtown, are the Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. of the pint-size set. Though their fathers are close friends, the two racers are rivals on a national stage: Dylan is the No. 1 racer in the Rookie Yamaha division for 2014, according to KartRank.com, while Gio is No. 6.
Their fathers -- Phil Tavella, 48, a financial adviser, and John Bromante, 46, owner of Bromante Landscape, Design and Management Group, of Glen Cove -- are two of the show's more visible dads. "Me and Phil don't fight," Bromante says. "We get into a little thing at the racetrack, we come home, he calls me up the next day, 'Hey! Good morning, Sunshine!' "
Tavella concurs: "He and I made an agreement a long time ago that what happens on the track stays on the track. But the wives don't always follow the husbands' advice," he says of Shirley Tavella and Stacey Bromante. "It makes it awkward sometimes. "
But they're united in concern for their children's safety, particularly when karting speeds can reach more than 70 miles per hour. Says Bromante, "Phil and I hug each other and we pray for our kids together before the race."