Daron Rahlves, the most decorated male American downhiller and Super G skier of all time, can’t seem to pass the teenager ahead of him. Whenever he tries to sneak by on the inside, the youth’s loose cornering keeps blocking his line and slowing him down during the straight aways. The outside is risky, but the finish line is approaching.
After the next right-hander, Rahlves punches it and edges by, pulling away for the win.
Taking off his custom helmet afterward, Rahlves unbuckles the harness and steps out of the go-kart, making sure to shake the teen’s hand. “Good race!” he says, before walking over to high-five his 11-year-old twins, Dreyson and Miley.
They’re up next, however, and are already off choosing their vehicles. Rahlves tries to tell them to ask for one of the “faster” older models, but his shouts are lost amid racing go-karts and loud pop music.
We’re at Need 2 Speed, an indoor fun center in Reno, NV, 40 minutes from the Rahlves’ home outside of Truckee, CA. It’s a casual down-day activity for the family, but you can’t tell from Daron’s brand-new one-piece racing suit, emblazoned with “Rahlves” across the back. Red Bull sent it a few years ago as a gag gift, and though he’s wearing it now as a joke, it gives the strawberry blonde Californian a Top Gun vibe. It’s a fitting look. Rahlves currently ranks 13th out of 100 on Need 2 Speed’s all-time accumulative “Pro Skill Leader” board…