WEST SALEM, Wis. (WKBT) -

He's a little wide-eyed, and understandably so.

The first time Carter Christenson ever drove a race car was two weeks ago.

"I was so nervous," he said.

Carter is only 19 years old. He's a novice if there ever were one. Starting Saturday night, he's racing the NASCAR Late Models, the highest division at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. That's because his family is no stranger to left turns.

"My dad raced. I've always wanted to race. But also because it kind of runs in our blood, because my grandpa raced," Carter said. "That got passed on to my dad.

"Now it's my turn."

"Way back, when he was probably three, four years old, he had the need for speed," said Carter's dad, Ken Christenson, Jr.

Carter remembers seeing him race. Now, he's following in his tracks.

"We've been waiting to do this a long time," Ken said. "That's why, one reason I hung on to all my stuff, for him to take it over someday."

For anybody who watched Ken race, that means you'll once again see his trademark hot pink car. But now, it's Carter behind the wheel.

"I always wanted to be like him as a kid, being a race car driver, and it's finally happening," Carter said. "I just think he's one of the best role models in my life and to be like him is pretty cool."

Carter won't win like him right away, but with his dad's help, that will come.

"I couldn't ask for a better teacher," said Carter.

"I hope he has a lot of fun. That's the main thing," Ken said.

"I'm going to try my hardest not to look like a novice," said Carter.

Weekly racing at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway starts Saturday at 7:30 p.m.