There are few legal thrills that rival the emotions of going fast.
Whether it's flying in a fighter plane, riding a bike, or racing a car, speed is something that mesmerizes even the most prudent of people.
Nicholas Pepe knows all about the addiction of racing. The Weber High graduate started racing when he was 14, competing in go-carts at Miller Motorsports Park.
Now 23, Pepe has become one of the top drivers racing winged sprint cars in Utah, and won an event at Rocky Mountain Raceway in his rookie season.
For Pepe, racing is his No. 1 passion.
"I just kind of grew up always wanting to do racing," he said. "I was strictly racing (growing up). I was an auto shop-type kid, and I didn't do any sports or anything. It was all auto shop."
Pepe's knowledge of racing vehicles led him to join a NASCAR crew when he was 18 years old, where he worked as a tire specialist for MacDonald Motorsports.
In Pepe's eyes, the lifestyle was extremely strenuous.
"I was going to work Monday through Wednesday; flying out Thursday to the track; working Thursday, Friday, Saturday; resting Sunday, and then starting it all over," he said.
Pepe isn't just a car-obsessed motorhead though. To his mother, Melinda, he is a sweet, caring son who never stops being a genuinely good person.
"He's the best kid ever," she said. "Very organized, he has a great job at Hill Air Force Base, he has a lot of toys he's bought and paid for on his own -- I'm very proud of him.
"He also helps me constantly. As a matter of fact, I just relocated to a different residence and he helped me move. He's got a big heart."
For Melinda Shrope, seeing her son work to achieve his dream is an incredible gift.
"Knowing how much he loves to race, I'm bursting at the seams when it's race day," said Melinda, who accompanies her son on every race. "I can't wait to get down there and help out in the pit as much as I can. When he gets behind the wheel of any vehicle, he has got this look on his face. He's just in the zone."
However warm the dream is, racing has cold, harsh realities, and one of those realities is the possibility of wrecking.
Pepe wrecked at Rocky Mountain Raceway this year.
"The second-to-last race this year. ... I got tangled up with someone," he said. "He came up on me, I climbed his tire and hit the wall probably going 110 miles an hour or so. I don't even know how fast I was going."
The wreck didn't keep Pepe down, though. Instead, he came back to win the final race of the season -- a win that has put him in the driver's seat for the Rookie of the Year award at Rocky Mountain Raceway's annual awards dinner in November.
For Pepe, his dream is to carry forward with racing and one day find himself on the ultimate stage: NASCAR.
"You start at a local short-track, which I'm doing," he said. "It's just about getting recognized, and having sponsorships and people to back you. It's pretty tough, though."