This week we had the opportunity to sit down with Cray Motorsports #7 driver, Austin Langenstein.

The 21-year-old Semi-Pro, originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania, moved to Charlotte with his family when he was 3 years old. From a young age he was immersed in the racing world; with both sets of grandparents involved in the sports, it was almost unavoidable.  

At age 8 he started racing go-karts and quarter midgets, and hasn't stopped since. Throughout his racing career he's been behind the wheel of the Bandolero, the Legend Car, as well as a Dirt Modified and a UMP Dirt Modified.

Austin thanks his Dad for teaching his the skills he needs to work on his own car. "That's my favorite part of being a Legend Car driver; I do all my own work. Other drivers at the track just arrive and drive, but in my case it's all up to me to work, setup, maintain and load it up." For him, racing truly is a family affair, "…all my family helps me when I need it, it's that much sweeter at the end of the day when you beat a factory team. It feels good."

Austin is dedicated to racing; however, it's not his only passion. He's also heavily involved in CrossFit and Personal Fitness. When he was 16, he started going to the gym, and becoming more involved in his workouts.  In 2009, after watching the CrossFit games, he decided to try it. He started by following the workout programming, and as he progressed he started programming his own WOD's (Workout of the Day). His involvement in CrossFit led him to pursue a degree UNC Charlotte in Exercise Science and Physiology. Once he graduated, he then attended the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and is now a Certified Personal Trainer.

"People say racing isn't a sport, or that we're not athletes, but we are. They don't know how physical it actually is," says Austin. "I had 3 major injuries in 2013 from racing accidents, all of which could have been career ending, but thanks to doing CrossFit and wearing my SpiderTech Tape, I'm in the best shape of my life. The SpiderTech Tape keeps me together; just like I use duct tape on my race car, I use Spidertech tape to hold my knee & wrist together as I race. That way I don't have to use conventional pain remedies, like Ibuprofen, for drug free relief."

He is currently working in a management role at the Planet Fitness in Concord, but has the opportunity to become the General Manager of his own club, making him the youngest in franchise history. In the future, he hopes to open his own Planet Fitness, or CrossFit style gym, while still staying involved in the sport. "Just because my day job isn't racing, doesn't mean I'm going to stop. I want to be able to give back the kids; I was just like them once. "

When asked if he would change anything about his racing career, he said no. "I wouldn't really change anything as I'm a big believer in everything happening for a reason and everything I learned in racing has taught me life lessons; without them I couldn't have learned from it."

Austin can be seen at this year's Winter Heat at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as well as the Summer ShootOut. He also plans on running at Wall Stadium in New Jersey, and at USLCI's national events.