For some, getting a car on your 16th birthday is the dream, but for Riley Raynard, that was too long a wait. At 14, he was given a race car, and he's been circling the Estevan Motor Speedway ever since.
Riley, the son of modified driver and 2011 points champion Devin Raynard, has muscular dystrophy, but he isn't letting it slow him down at all.
He gets some help climbing in and out of his hobby stock car, but once inside, the driving is all him.
At the start of the year, Riley completed a few runs at another track before first heading to the speedway. His first race was in Estevan, and he said it was an adjustment to get used to the track.
"I didn't really know what to do," said Riley. "I just tried to get the feel for the track and that kind of helped a little bit."
"He's actually doing really good out there now," said Devin. "We tested him out there at Derrick Big Eagle's race track in Manor at the beginning of the year, before the races even started (in Estevan). Derrick was able to let us run a bunch of laps out there and let him get the hang of it. His car's still in one piece, so he's doing good."
Riley has raced all year, mostly at the local oval but has also competed in Minot.
"I've kind of gotten better," he said. "I can keep up to the (other racers), so it's way easier."
The 14-year-old is a Grade 10 student in Lampman and sits in 16th in the points standings. Part of the fun at the races is that he gets to challenge a few of his friends who started racing this year as well.
"I get to race against my friends too, so that's fun. Two of my friends, who are in my class are actually racing too," said Riley.
"We had to move the pedals back so I could reach it and control the car. We had to push my seat forward and the pedals go up and back because I was a little bit too small for it."
He said he fits well inside their driver's seat now.
"We thought we were going to have to put hand controls in this year, but he's able, and he still has enough strength to run the pedals," added Devin. "We had to do some power brake assist stuff just for the brakes, he was having trouble with the brakes, but we've got that figured out now."
He said next year they may have to install hand controls, so Riley would control the throttle and brakes in his car from the steering wheel, similar to a motorbike.
"They say there are guys that have done it out there, so it will be done like the Formula One cars," said Devin.
He said he's happy to see his son not be discouraged because of his condition. Riley doesn't really let anything get in his way.
"He broke his thumb there at the last race, got in a little tangle and hit the steering wheel," said Devin. "That just gave it a little jar on the steering wheel. They were gonna cast it for him, but he said if they put the cast on he was gonna cut it off like Ricky Bobby. He was racing no matter what, he said.
"I'm proud of him getting out there and letting him try it. We didn't really know if he could run or not, seeing as he's slowly getting worse, but he's been good."
Devin said he was a little nervous at first to see Riley get behind the wheel during his practice runs and then again during his first race when he got out in the middle of a bunch of other cars.
Riley has been going to his dad's races since Devin first started about eight years ago.
"He raced when I was a little kid, so that made me fantasize about being a race-car driver," said Riley.
"I liked (the races) a lot, so that's what I decided to do."
His dad was prepared the moment Riley turned 14 and was eligible to race at the speedway.
"They already knew I wanted to," said Riley, adding that it's something he's wanted to do for a long time.
"He's been wanting to do it since, well, that's what he's always (wanted)," said Devin. "That's why his car is 97. I was 98, and actually my youngest boy, he's nine years old, he wants to be 96. It'll be nice to get all three of us out there and be like the Turnbulls and the Harrises."