No one ever said that following your dreams would be an easy ride, and Legend Car driver Ryan Mackintosh knows that first hand. While most Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series competitors have their families helping prepare their cars, Mackintosh's support is thousands of miles away.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, 17-year-old Mackintosh finds himself far away from home in Kannapolis, N.C., close to the heart of motorsports. At a young age, he got his first taste of racing after watching his principal's son compete and, as they say, the rest is history.

Success came early for Mackintosh, who went on to win three Canadian National Championships in the Bandolero division. Unfortunately, racing is seasonal in Canada and is limited to only 12 weeks of racing in the year. Mackintosh wanted more, tougher competition and a longer racing season.

"I saw the Summer Shootout Series on TV and my dad made me a deal that if I could get good enough grades he would take me down here one time," said Mackintosh.

Mackintosh followed through with his end of the deal and so did his dad. After that one race at Charlotte Motor Speedway's Summer Shootout Series, he was hooked. He left all he knew behind, when he was just 13 years old, to chase his dreams in the Bandolero division. Since relocating his racing career almost four years ago, Mackintosh has continued his success in the Legend Car Semi-Pro division with his new team, Chris Woods Racing and Repair (CWRR), and recently signed as a developmental driver for BAM Foyt Racing.

"Since I've been in North Carolina racing, the biggest help to me has been Chris Woods and his team with CWRR and Daniel Hemric," said Mackintosh. "Daniel has been my role model and helped me with everything. Without the two of them, I wouldn't be able to keep it up."

Mackintosh even stays with Woods and his family while he is away from his loved ones. The transition has been tough for the soon-to-be senior at First Assembly Christian School, but through it all his family and friends have been nothing but supportive. Mackintosh knows that if he wants to continue his racing career, potentially into the Indy Car Series, that sacrifices have to be made along the way, but he wouldn't change anything so far.

"If you love racing, you've got to do what you've got to do to stay in. So it has all been worth it," he said.

Mackintosh will hit the track in his No. 03 NorthEastLegends.com Legend Car in search of more wins in the upcoming weeks. With two wins already this season in the Legend Car Semi-Pro division at the Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series, he sits on top of the points standings looking for more wins and a potential championship in the future.

The 20th annual Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series continues Tuesday, July 2, with a spectacular Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza and the Little Luggies 600 Power Wheels race, in addition to regular Legend Car and Bandolero racing divisions.

Tickets for the Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series are $7 for adults and are available in advance at the speedway ticket office or at Gates 4 and 5 the night of the event. Kids 13 and under get in free. Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with preliminary action starting at 5:10 p.m. Opening ceremonies are at 6:45 p.m.

Racing will be televised on the Fox Sports South network, with a recap show airing each Monday following the event at 6 p.m. and a re-air the following Saturday. Fans should check their local listings for more information.

For tickets to the Summer Shootout Series, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.

For live updates during the Summer Shootout Series, follow hashtag #SummerShootout on Twitter. To join in on the conversation simply include #SummerShootout in your tweet.

Connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CLTMotorSpdwy or become a Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway.