Tyler Hughes always liked to go fast.
At age 3, he was powering a little go-kart around an asphalt track in a neighbor's backyard on the Eastern Shore.
At 5 years old, he was whipping quarter-midget racecars around dirt tracks in Maryland and Delaware. At age 10, he was racing 600cc modified lite dwarf cars around Seaford, Del., picking up seven wins as the youngest rookie driver.
Now, the 16-year-old from Cordova in Talbot County has been named NASCAR's 2012 Virginia Rookie of the Year in the Whelen All-American Series, a points championship for local NASCAR-sanctioned racetracks.
"I was very happy to win that award," Hughes said. "It's something...