Even as a toddler, Aryton Grim was built for speed.

“He was about 2 years old and he’d be going full tilt on his Power Wheels,” said his mother, Alissa Grim of Hilliard.

Aryton’s father, John Grim, bought him his first go-kart when Aryton was 3.

“We went to a go-kart race, and he just was taken by it,” Alissa Grim said. “He wanted a go-kart.”

“I just like go-karts because they go so fast and they’re really fun to drive,” Aryton, 9, said. “It’s fun because you get to feel what it would be like to drive a car.”

By age 4, Aryton was competing in go-kart racing and won his first national race at age 6 at the World Kart Association’s Winter Cup in Mooresville, North Carolina.

He has since moved up to a higher classification, Micro Swift, and competes against other youngsters ages 7 to 10 in events across the United States.

Aryton earned his first national win in Micro Swift in a race at the World Kart Association’s Kart Week held Dec. 27 to 30 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

“I was really excited about winning,” he said. “Getting a trophy is the best thing.”

In 2018, Aryton took home 27 podium awards, four wins, a second-place championship in Micro Swift at Route 66 and finished third at the 206 Grand Nationals in addition to his win at Daytona.

In Micro Swift, drivers can reach speeds of 60 mph.

“It’s not too scary,” Aryton said. “Sometimes you’re not even aware of how fast you’re going. It feels like you’re not going very fast at all.”

Going fast is not the most challenging part of competing in Micro Swift, he said.

“Passing other karts can be hard,” Aryton said. “It’s a really big part of racing, but you have to pick the right time to try to pass by other drivers. If you pick the wrong time, it can slow you down.”

To improve his strength for steering, Aryton works with a trainer at least twice a week.

“I just try to work hard to get better,” he said. “I practice any time I can. I’d drive my kart every day if I could.”

Aryton participates in about 30 races each year. His family travels together over weekends to the various events..

The Grims moved about 18 months ago from Grove City to Hilliard.

Aryton attends Brown Elementary School in Hilliard.

“We just needed more room,” Alissa Grim said, for Aryton’s go-kart and the trailer the family uses on its travels.

The family’s Hilliard property provides enough room for a trail that Aryton uses for practice runs.

“It’s got a lot of hills and curves, so it’s a good way to get ready for a race,” he said. “Mostly I’m just having fun when I’m out on the trail.”

There is one down side to being involved in racing, Aryton said.

“It’s kind of boring having to drive to a race,” he said.

He competes in events as far away as Las Vegas.

Aryton said racing would continue to be a big part of his life.

“My goal is to be a Formula One racer, because it would be fun to get to go so fast and you earn a lot of money if you win,” he said. “I’d like to live in Italy someday, because that’s where all the Formula One drivers live. Either that or in Dubai.”

There is another career field that interests Aryton.

“I’d like to be a meteorologist,” he said. “I’m really fascinated by tornados and big storms, as long as they don’t hit our house.”

Rather than take cover when a major storm hits near his house, Aryton said, he likes to go outside and observe the conditions.

One thing he doesn’t like about the weather is that it can prevent him from driving his go-kart.

“I haven’t been able to go out on the trail behind our house because it’s winter time,” he said. “It’s frustrating, because I haven’t been able to drive for about three weeks. I wish I could go driving right now.”

That inner drive sets Aryton apart from many of the children who participate in racing, Alissa Grim said.

Aryton said he is looking forward to moving on to the next level of go kart racing, the juniors division, when he turns 11.

“It will be more competitive and I’ll get to go even faster,” he said. “I just want to get better and win more trophies.”

Aryton’s racing activities and his blog are available at grimracing21.weebly.com; facebook.com/ArytonGrim; instagram.com/aryton_grim and twitter.com/grimracing21.

afroman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekAfroman