Carlos Moore and his architectural firm have designed 65 buildings that house race teams and motorsports-related businesses. Now, the 61-year-old Kannapolis, N.C., resident is drawing up plans he hopes will carry his No. 9 Legends Car to victory lane during the Hardee's Summer Shootout on Tuesday nights at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"This is fun and something to get me off the couch," said Moore, who made his racing debut in last year's Hardee's Summer Shootout at age 60. "I enjoy the competition, but the thing I really like is that you can go as fast as you can, and nobody will say anything about it.

"I also enjoy watching the kids who race as they develop their talent," he continued. "I really enjoy watching the young people blossom and the way they enjoy the racing."

Following in the tire tracks of such legendary racers as Glenn "Fireball" Roberts and Robert "Junior" Johnson, Moore thought he too should have a racing nickname. He chose "Mercury" because Mercury was the Roman god of speed. "But I'm not quite there yet," he said with a big laugh.

Competing in the Verizon Wireless Legends Car Masters division for drivers ages 40 and older, Moore ended up 15th in the series standings during his rookie season. He had hopes of a top-10 showing this year, but recent knee replacement surgery has forced him into the role of car owner and cheerleader, at least for the first four weeks of the 10-race series. Jeff Jordan, a member of Moore's crew, is driving the car until he can return.

Moore owns and manages Carlos Moore Architect, P.A. Located in Concord, N.C., the firm has long been an area leader in the design of both commercial and residential buildings. While much of the firm's work is focused in the Southeast, its current roster of projects includes a massive development featuring 400 condominiums, 600 villas, a convention center, marina and shopping mall on Grand Turk Island in the Caribbean.

Moore is also active in civic events and has worked closely with Habitat for Humanity over the last 10 years.

He has designed four Habitat homes and has donated his time as a House Leader for the organization. He is currently working on a Habitat for Humanity subdivision, redesigning houses and doing other cosmetic work.

In addition to his architectural work and racing in the Hardee's Summer Shootout, Moore is an avid motorcyclist. He owns two Harley-Davidsons-an Electra Glide for touring and a Dyna Glide Low Rider for cruising the streets.

Moore says the motorcycles are basically stock, but, as could be expected from someone with the nickname "Mercury," the bikes' engines have been "hopped up just a bit."

Before his recent surgery, Moore took a motorcycle trip through South Dakota, visiting the Black Hills and Rapid City.

"It was a great trip, absolutely beautiful out there," he said.

Although he is rapidly approaching the age when he can file for Social Security benefits, Moore has no intention of slowing down.

"I want to continue racing until I can't get into the car anymore," he concluded.

The Hardee's Summer Shootout features three classes of Bandolero racing, three divisions of Legends Cars and the popular Thunder Roadsters. More than 200 cars are expected to jam the pit area each Tuesday night through Aug. 16.

Admission is just $5 for adults. Children 6 to 12 are admitted for $3 with kids under 6 free. Tickets are available in advance at the speedway ticket office and at Gates 4 and 5 the night of the event. Parking is free. Contact the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com for information.

Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with preliminary action at 5:30 p.m. Feature racing begins at 7:30 p.m. and is scheduled to conclude by 10:15 p.m.