(Photo by John Cain Photography)

(Photo by John Cain Photography)

Heart Racer

Nick Boulle has just returned from racing the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Last year, he finished first in his class at the same race. A graduate of the Episcopal School of Dallas and Southern Methodist University, Boulle is the 28-year-old son of Denis and Karen Boulle, owners of deBoulle Diamond & Jewelry on Preston Road. In addition to competing in three or four professional races a year, he manages digital marketing, operations and more for deBoulle. The January issue of Town & Country magazine proclaimed him one of the top 50 bachelors of 2018.

How did you get into racing?
A friend of my dad’s took us to the race track. He had a Ferrari, and we were just watching. I don’t think you could do this now, but back in the ‘90s he said, “Why don’t you get in the passenger seat, Nick.” They strapped me in and did four laps. I was like, “That’s what I want to do when I grow up.” Maybe a year later, I started racing go karts. Now racing is a subset of our business. It’s one thing to go to a race and be in the stands. It’s another to go to a race and be a part of the team.

What do you drive?
The category that I’ve raced in most recently is called LMP2, which stands for Le Mans Prototype 2. In Europe, it’s the world championship specification. They’re closed cockpit, 650-horsepower sports car prototypes that are built to run endurance races. I share the car with at least one other teammate and compete in races from three to six to 24 hours in length. The car will do about 215 mph. At Daytona, we did about 195 mph.

How was this year’s Daytona race?
It was probably the most competitive running of the race in its history. I want to say there were 55 starters. We had some issues with pace. But as the race went on we were doing well. We moved into ninth. Around 4 a.m. on Sunday my teammate made a mistake and ended up in a barrier. We had to spend a lot of time repairing the car. We went back to 20-something and ended up recovering and finishing 12th. It was bittersweet.

How do you train for that?
I’ve always been an endurance athlete. In high school, I raced cross country and a lot of that was to stay lean for karting. At SMU, I started racing bicycles. I ended up on the podium for the national championship of the NCAA. That’s a great sport because the harder you work, the more you get. Now I bounce between running, cycling and weights.

Why do you need to be so fit to race a car?
They’re physical to drive. I think the number I heard recently was every two hours in the car is like 1,800 calories burned, and it’s 140 degrees in the cockpit. You sit there for two hours or more, and you have to keep your wits about you. I relate it to a running race. If you’re running up a hill and can’t keep up, you fall away. You’re frustrated, but there’s no danger. In a car, you’re going 195 mph. It takes 75 pounds of force from your left foot to stop the car quickly. Fitness is important.

How was ESD?
I loved ESD. I was traveling a lot for karting in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. They worked with me.

What was it like to make Town & Country’s top 50 bachelors list?
I was surprised, obviously flattered. There were some big names on the list that I wouldn’t put myself in league with. My friends and family have jokingly been calling me “Number 33.”

What do you like to do in Dallas?
Simple stuff. I start every day the same. I wake up at 6. I have a Plott Hound named Waldo. I walk him the 2 miles to Royal Blue. He gets a treat inside. I get a coffee. I like exploring new restaurants. I really like to be outside, going for a bike ride or run on the Katy trail. I’m lucky because a lot of my passions support me being fit for the motorsport stuff. I like working with my mom in terms of designing jewelry.

What’s your ideal date?
Drinks and then dinner somewhere with an outdoor patio — preferably this time of year and somewhere that I can take my dog.

What qualities do you admire in a woman?
Independence. She has to be smarter than I am. Certainly, she has to like animals.

Do you have a girlfriend?
Yes. We met through work. She was featured in our magazine two-and-a-half years ago.

What’s your most treasured possession?
I’ve kept all my helmets. One saved my life. Each represents a different time in my life. I have them all in a stand in my living room.
I had a bad wreck karting when I was 15. It was in January 2005. I was thrown into a pole at 60 mph head-first. I spent a week in the hospital. I don’t remember much of it. I had three subdural hematomas and a fractured vertebra in my neck.

How does your mother feel about you racing?
She’s calm about it. She also likes that I have a closed cockpit car now.

Interview edited for clarity and brevity

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