For local 71-year-old go-kart racer, age is only a number

Your Carolina

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Thursday, at Spartanburg’s Speed Factory Indoor Karting there’s one customer who stands out from the rest, that’s 71 year old Josef Roubal

Roubal has raced at the Speed Factory for a little over a year, and said his age does not hold him back. It’s all about how you live life, Roubal added, living and having a passion is best. His passion is driving.

“I believe that when I stop doing what I’m doing, I will go down, very quickly. So, I have to put life–live the maximum life that I can,” Roubal said. 

Originally from Czechoslovakia, Roubal was infatuated with race cars since he was five years old. He grew up realizing he wasn’t meant to be a race car driver, but an engineer. 

But his athletic nature lead him to become an accomplished martial artist in Judo. Roubal escaped to America in 1986. 

Stateside Roubal continued his martial arts training and became a Judo Sensei at the University of Vermont. 

He admits, at one point, he had $500 dollars which he could have invested in Macintosh or a old race car…well you can guess what happened. 

He laughed at the question now, but that’s how much racing did and does mean to him. 

“It’s great! Very very fun. I love it,” Roubal said. 

Between his martial arts career, his profession as an engeneer, and a writer,  Robual says those practices help him drive go-karts with a sense of ease. 

It’s not hard to believe, this former Judo Olympian and retired Sensei, uses his training, passion for driving, and free time to put him at the height of his senior go-kart driving career.  

While the United States Census finds people over 60- years old will make up more than 28% of South Carolina’s population by 2030. Roubal says there is no reason anyone has to act their age.

Speed Factory Social Media Coordinator Jason Blackwell and Owner Don Ausnus said Roubal has been a joy to have.

Ausnus said Roubal came scooting in on his walker one day, sat down to race, and blew him away. 

Blackwell said they haven’t doubted him or anyone else that comes in since.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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