This weekend’s Indy 500 will be a dream come true for Rogue Valley native Derek DeBoer when he attends the iconic event with his family and fellow racing team members.
A driver for TRG-Porsche, DeBoer will be on hand to lend support for his co-driver, James Davison, who will drive the No. 33 Chevy for Jonathan Byrd & A.J. Foyt Racing.
As an added bonus, DeBoer will be able to promote his family’s race-focused show, “Fast Life,” which debuted in January and airs on Amazon Prime (fastlife.tv).
DeBoer, whose wife, Brooke, inspired him two decades ago to chase his lifelong dream of racing, began his life in the fast lane in 1999 at the Skip Barber Racing School in Salinas, California.
From there, DeBoer, 43, a local auto dealer, went on to race open wheel with Welch Racing, started his own team, Project Motorsports, and will soon head into his fourth season of Porsche racing for TRG.
As a kid, he was “more interested in going fast” on anything with wheels than playing any sport involving a ball, he said.
“Fast Life” features the DeBoer family embarking on the journey of helping Derek realize his racing dream while his wife realizes her dream of filmmaking.
The couple and their three daughters are the focus of the show, in which stories are told of each family member pursuing their dreams — ranging from horseback riding to skiing for the three girls — while supporting the father’s love of racing.
Brooke DeBoer said attending the race and having the chance to promote their show is the culmination of a lot of hard work for the past two decades.
Film content for “Fast Life,” which launched in January, began in 2014, yielding 10 initial episodes and a promise for a second series slated for fall 2018.
In the show’s premiere episode, DeBoer tells of his childhood love of racing dating back to a neighborhood cul-de-sac and childhood bikes and trikes.
His family’s Super Bowl event had nothing to do with pigskin.
“It was the Indy 500 — that was our Super Bowl,” said DeBoer, whose father Alan owns several local car dealerships and is a current state senator. “That was the sporting event of the year at our house.”
As a young adult, DeBoer ventured into water sports, competing around the country as a wakeboarder. When he married Brooke almost 20 years ago, the couple set about planning their lives.
“Early in our marriage, Derek came to me and we were talking about our dreams that we wanted to follow. I asked him if there was anything that would light his fire and really fill his heart up,” Brooke DeBoer said.
“Without hesitation, he said, ‘Oh, I’d be a race car driver!’ So we decided we would chase his dream of being a race car driver and mine of being a filmmaker.”
Talking about this weekend’s race event, Brooke DeBoer said the energy of Indianapolis, all on its own, is worth the trip.
“This weekend is about supporting a friend and promoting our show,” she said. “It’s so exciting to just be here during the race. Everyone we meet has a racing-related story or some connection. It’s an amazing energy.”
While he won’t be behind the wheel this weekend, Derek is scheduled to race at Portland International Speedway July 14-15.
DeBoer said her continued focus, camera firmly in hand, is to capture the moments that show why her family puts so much emphasis on the chasing of dreams.
“There’s a quote that says, ‘Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.’ What else should life be about?”
For more about the show, see www.facebook.com/fastlifetvshow/?fref=mentions or www.fastlife.tv
Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. Email her at email@example.com.