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A NEED FOR SPEED: North Naples teen climbs his way to the Indy 500

Michael Costello's profile keeps rising as he keeps passing the field
A NEED FOR SPEED: North Naples high schooler climbs his way to the Indy 500
Posted at 10:19 PM, Jan 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-29 22:19:02-05

NAPLES, Fla. — Many teens choose sports like baseball, football, or tennis, but for Michael Costello, he found his unique passion early in life.

He wanted to go faster more than anything else, and no surprise there. He wanted to harness the horsepower to do it with a father ready to open the throttle.

"It just started by him saying, 'Do you want to go drive a go-kart one day?' and I said yeah, and ever since then, you know, I was doing perfect racing lines and putting down competitive race times and then from there on now," said Michael Costello.

Now, at 17 years old, Costello is a champion in open-wheel racing with the F4 U.S. Championship but he is leveling up and headed to the USF 2000. He tells Fox 4 his final goal is the Indy 500, the nation's most renowned open-wheel race.

"Even for me to think about it every day, you know, I'll be in the Indy 500, about four or five years," said Costello. "I mean, it's just crazy to me, because you know, I'll be going about 243 miles an hour around an oval so fast. I mean, all I can say is thank you Mom and Dad."

However, it has not always come easy. Since COVID made it more difficult to travel back and forth from his practice track in Homestead, Florida, his family's solution was a driving simulator in his room.

"It's a video game, just much more realistic to you know, the track the way the car feels, is practically driving a car just not in real life," said Costello.

Now Costello is looking to Grand PRIX in St. Petersburg March 8 - 10, as he tries to lead the pack in those downtown streets.