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Full circle moment: Local driver ready for home course at Grand Prix of St. Pete

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PLANT CITY, FLA. (WFLA) — Nolan Allaer is just 21 years old in college at Miami University studying Mechanical Engineering, but already making milestones on the track.

…and let’s just say racing runs in the family.

His father, Robert, is a two-time SCCA National Championship Runoffs champion in the Formula Continental, and his uncle, J. Lewis Cooper III, is a former SCCA National champion in Formula F.

“Nolan grew up around the race track. We joke he’s a track rat,” said his father Robert Allaer. 

“I’m third generation, my grandfather started racing in our family then my uncle, my dad and I just grew up at the race track,” said Nolan Allaer.

“We did it as a hobby but obviously he’s taking it to a different level as a profession for him,” said Robert Allaer.

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Aller started carting when he was 4-years-old. Growing up in the Tampa Bay Area his first ever time seeing a race was the St. Pete Grand Prix with his dad.

It’s a full-circle moment for their family. 

“It was fun, and you would just never imagine that you would then be, fast-forward a bunch of years, watching him actually race in it,” said Robert Allaer.

“I’m definitely getting sleepless nights thinking about it like, ‘wow’ I just can’t believe we’re in this position and I have this opportunity just so unbelievably fortunate and thankful for how far we’ve come in the short years,” said Nolan Allaer.

The connections don’t stop there. Clay Keels who is the president of Keel Farms, the official wine partner of the event, used to play hockey with Robert Allaer 20 years ago.

“I think they underestimate how challenging it is to get into professional racing at all especially the level that he’s at it’s the equivalent to AAA baseball if there were only 20 baseball players so he’s doing really well and I’m looking forward to watching him,” said President of Keel & Curley Winery Clay Keel.

Source: WFLA

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