A must watch interview with Garrett Manes, a successful professional race car driver at age 18 who found his path through an autism diagnosis through his love of racing. Watch Kristin Selby Gonzales of Autism Hope Alliance and co-host Justin Benton of 101 CBD with Garrett as he literally lights up the world with his story and his contagious enthusiasm.
Garrett recounts his autism diagnosis at age two or three, how he was “closed up socially” with only one or two friends in grade school and “stayed in my own lane”. Garrett’s father is in racing and got him interested in racing with some milk-shake bribery to put the pedal down and go faster with go-karts when he was in kindergarten. By age 10 he was doing arena racing indoors and winning, and by 13 he was winning again when racing in simulators.
Garrett reports there is little difference between the simulator and a real car except for the G-forces. His immersive experiences in both come from his focus on the wheel and what he sees. “Honestly, if you give me a steering wheel, give me a car, and put me on a track, I will be very happy.” So, it is no surprise those that are at the top in the Sim world like Garrett are also at the top in live racing.
His passion for racing coincided with the COVID 19 pandemic which closed professional racetracks. This closing brought the top racecar drivers to I-racing and gave Garrett another opportunity to race and win against the top drivers.
Garrett’s dedication to racing rewarded him in many ways. He developed a passion for racing, overcame his terror at doing interviews to now looking forward to them, developed the confidence to talk to anyone including the stars of the racing world, expanded his skills to several types of racing, helped him with his job of developing high end simulators with motion, and allowed him to compete with the top professional race car drivers in the country. Garrett was invited to join a sports car league of I-racers and oval racers, and his team won the championship in Corvette Class this year.
Garrett is grateful for the sponsorships he has received (including from 101 CBD) at the nationals last year. Let’s all support Garrett and his five-year goal of racing in the NASCAR series with enough funding and sponsorship to meet that goal. You can follow Garrett online at Facebook: Garrett Manes or Garrett Manes Racing, Twitter: @garrettmanes, Instagram: Garrett Manes, or watch his I- races live streaming on Twitch as Garrettmanes1.
Watch and share this video of his amazing journey. We thank Garrett for inspiring so many people by living his dream. We are looking forward to seeing his name in lights.