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It’s good training,” says race-car driver Andrew Prendeville about driving on highways in New Jersey at rush hour. “You have to stay so aware, watching out for potentially dangerous situations.”

It’s good training,” says race-car driver Andrew Prendeville about driving on highways in New Jersey at rush hour. “You have to stay so aware, watching out for potentially dangerous situations.” Indeed, a lifetime of swerving around SUVs on Route 287 and dodging deer near his Morristown home should serve Prendeville well this summer. The 25-year-old will be racing a 420-horsepower Dallara in the Indy Pro Series, one step down from the Indy Racing League, where drivers compete in the prestigious Indianapolis 500.

Prendeville finished second in the Formula 2000 series in 2004 and won a Sports Car Club of America National Championship in 2002. “He has talent and ability,” says four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears. “He just needs more laps to get comfortable.”

For Prendeville, racing has always been a family affair. Prendeville’s grandfather machined parts on Rodger Ward’s Indy car back in the 1950s, and he and his brother Doug started racing go-carts when he was ten. “We were all hooked on racing,” Prendeville says.

He’ll drive at Indy three times this season, but the closest Prendeville will get to home is a race at Watkins Glen, New York, on July 8. “New Jersey’s out of the loop when it comes to racing,” says Prendeville. “It’d be nice to see professional racing come back to New Jersey.” Outside of Route 287, that is.

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