Journalism Next from Braden River High School: Tanner McBrayer becomes a professional rally racer with a $150,000 contract from Subaru

jajones1@bradenton.comNovember 26, 2012 

The average 16-year-old boy's life consists of homework, friends, and video games. However, for junior Tanner McBrayer life is much different. He has recently signed a contract to race professionally with the Subaru Rally Team.

The Indy 500 brought McBrayer to racing when an interest sparked at only 8 years old.

"After I saw it I practically became obsessed with it (racing). It was all I ever talked about. Eventually my family put me in go cart racing. Then I worked my way up to full sized cars as I got older," McBrayer says.

At age 14, McBrayer began participating in rally races. Rally racers compete across various terrains, and the races are usually between 15-45 minutes long, depending on the course.

"I have to race on gravel, sand, snow, dirt and of course asphalt. We tend to a lot of drifting," McBrayer explains.

By showing his driving skills to companies that were looking for sponsors, McBrayer was able to get a contract with Subaru.

"Usually they are small-time companies … I got lucky," McBrayer said.

His contract is set for five years with a handsome salary of $150,000 per year. Not only that, but he will also receive three top-of -the line Subaru rally cars worth $100,000 each. McBrayer is entitled to Subaru's racing gear and accessories. He will have to race in Subaru's gear and cars to promote their brand. After the five year contract is up, Subaru could decide to give him a contract for life.

The teenage boy races multiple times a week. Lately, he has been flying all over the country to places such as New York and California to seek endorsements from others. On a recent trip to New York City, McBrayer met several famous racers including Travis Pastrana who stars on the show Nitro Circus scheduled on MTV.

After McBrayer finishes high school, Subaru plans to move him to Los Angeles or San Francisco. Surprisingly, McBrayer did not intend to make racing his career.

"I race as a hobby. My original plan was to become an investor," McBrayer admits.

However, this has certainly opened him to the possibility of being a professional racer for a long time. Receiving a contract with Subaru is a dream come true for the young man.

"I am completely humbled to have this opportunity," He says. "It's a once in a lifetime deal for sure."

Whether or not McBrayer races for the rest of his life, he will certainly enjoy the ride.

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