That's what Dale did. And he has carried that seven year-old's love for cars with him. It pushed him to build a business career in the automotive industry, whether that was mechanical repair and maintenance or serving as a general manager of his company: Dale Management & Motorsport Limited.
But maybe even more importantly, that bold move as a boy pushed him to follow his passion for driving. That led to vital roles in race officiating, and he was named as race director of the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin series in 2015.
The new job is a homecoming for Dale. He served as race director of the IMSA-sanctioned series in Canada during its first two seasons, in 2011 and 2012. He has seen both growth and progression.
"I'm excited to be back," Dale said. "I'm a proud Canadian. Everything I own has a tiny Canadian flag on it, so it's great to be back with the series. In 2011, it really was a growth year. The fields were small, and we had to focus on making it a good show. In 2012, it evolved and has continued to do so. I respect the players and am excited to work with them and at venues I'm very familiar and very comfortable with."
Dale, who lives in Ottawa, Ontario, has more than 50 years of experience as a driver, team manager and official at almost every level of road racing in North America. That impressive resume also including numerous roles of officiating Development and Single-Make Series.
In addition to the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin series, he has also served as race director for Formula BMW from 2005-'07, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama in 2007 and Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda from 2007-14.
His skill in officiating was augmented by his time behind the wheel in a variety of machines.
He started rallying and driving sports cars in his teens and still holds the ASR class lap record at Mont Tremblant, Quebec. He drove for 25 years and held an IMSA race license, making the progression from driver to official a natural one.
"I was never too bad at driving, but what I wasn't good at was getting someone else to pay for it," Dale said. "And racing isn't a cheap hobby. There was a need in the Quebec region for a chief scrutineer, and my exposure as a driver led them to me, and it's gone from there."
When Dale first decided to take a job as an official, his wife questioned him.
"She said, 'I thought you didn't like race officials,'" Dale said. "I told her, 'I don't dislike officials; I dislike officious officials.' And I swore that I wouldn't have an ego or an attitude. It is vital that I always explain my decision and always make sure the competitors understand."
Dale continues to work in that style, always making sure decisions are fair and understood by competitors. He pulls from his racing experience, including his errors, to help educate drivers and officiate fairly.
"I've been behind the wheel and made mistakes," Dale said. "I've seen the red mist, so I understand where they're coming from. I work with the idea that they all deserve to be allowed to put on the show while dealing with officials that are professional and respectful.
"This is my job, and I take it very seriously," Dale said. "But with it you can be gone for 120 days a year or more, so I'm very fortunate that my job is also my passion."
For updates on the series, follow @IMSA on Twitter with the hashtag #GT3CAN and on Facebook. The latest news can be found by visiting IMSA.com.
Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin: The Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin enters its fifth season in 2015 ready to produce more intense, exciting competition for semi-professional and aspiring professional drivers in the world's most produced and iconic race car, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)-sanctioned series is one of Porsche's 20 global single-make Cup Challenge series and is the perfect platform for aspiring drivers to ascend to the highest levels of GT competition, such as the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Racing is divided into two classes - Platinum Cup, featuring the 2014 and 2015 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which is based on the seventh, and current, generation of the street car; and Gold Cup, which is comprised of the previous iteration (model years 2010-2013) of the race car. A Masters Championship also is conducted in the Platinum class. Each class is awarded with its own podium at the end of every race and individual champion at the end of every season. Points are awarded by finish in class.
ABOUT IMSA: The International Motor Sports Association, LLC (IMSA) was originally founded in 1969 with a long and rich history in sports car racing. Today, IMSA is the sanctioning body of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the premier sports car racing series in North America. IMSA also sanctions the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, as well as four single-make series: Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama; Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin; Ferrari Challenge North America; and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. IMSA - a company within the NASCAR Holdings group - is the exclusive strategic partner in North America with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), which operates the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The partnership enables selected TUDOR Championship competitors to earn automatic entries into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.