From an early age, McQueen was an avid enthusiast of automobile, motorcycle, and racing, interests that he inherited from his Father, Steve. He began racing dirt bikes by age nine and, in three years, would go on to win his class in the World Mini Grand Prix. He quickly moved on to auto racing, winning his first race: the Mini Le Mans event, a children-only track created on the set of the 1971 film Le Mans, when McQueen was ten years old. Before filming was completed on that film, McQueen enjoyed racing at triple digit speeds down the straights while seated in his father's lap at the wheel of a Porsche 917. At 12, he won his class at the World Mini Grand Prix.
McQueen has worked as a film actor for some time, appearing as Dutch in The Karate Kid in 1984 and The Karate Kid Part II in 1986, and many other roles including a role in the 1995 film New York Cop with Mira Sorvino and in the action films Red Line as Jim and Death Ring. He has also worked as a Producer, winning a Telly Award for his documentary Filming at Speed. He has appeared on numerous television programs related to motorsports, including Hot Rod TV and Celebrity Rides.
McQueen was married to Stacia Toten, now the wife of Hockey Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille, from 1987 to 1990. The couple had one son, actor Steven R. McQueen (b. 1988), who was a series regular in the TV series The Vampire Diaries and Chicago Fire.
McQueen remarried in 1993, to Jeanie Galbraith. The couple have two children: soccer player Chase McQueen (b. 1995) and Madison McQueen (b. 1996).
In January 2006, he was seriously injured (suffering a broken lower left leg, as well as a pair of fractures to his vertebrae and multiple rib fractures) in an accident at the Daytona International Speedway while practicing for the 24 Hours of Daytona Sports Car race. McQueen now says that his driving days are over. He returned to Daytona during the 2007 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona race to thank the medics and track workers who he says saved his life. Later on, he stated that he wants to become a team owner.
In November 2007, he returned to the Daytona International Speedway and got behind the wheel of the Brumos 1975 Ecurie Escargot RSR, driving it in the exhibitions at the Porsche Rennsport Reunion III.
In January 2010, he started McQueen Racing LLC, a company which partners with Leaders in the motorcycle and custom car industries to create limited-edition high-performance motorcycles and automobile transbrakes.