Thursday, June 5, 2014

Driver Spotlight: Kadence Davenport

Kadence Davenport

 Kadence aka “The Wolf” loves racing.  She earned her nickname when she first began racing.  She was the youngest competitor in the Putt Putt class and had to start in the back a lot but always seemed to be able to fight her way through the pack and hunt the leader down.  That nickname has stuck with her and she still even likes to howl after her wins! 

In 2013 at age 9 she was the Junior 1 track champion at both of her "home" tracks, Jamaica Raceway (asphalt) and Newton Kart Klub (dirt).  This talented young racer got her start in racing when she stopped at a family friends’ transmission shop with her dad. She noticed a poster advertising a race called Battle at the Barn at the Iowa State Fairgrounds and she asked to give it a try- the rest is history. 

When she first started learning about racing her biggest challenge wasn’t the driving, it was learning the racing lingo. Since she was only 6 years old her dad and Papa simplified the terms with their own little lingo to make it easier to communicate. She has always been in tune with her kart and has been able to direct her pit crew on how to help make it faster and handle better for her.  In fact several other racing dads have asked her to test out their son’s kart for them and give them feedback on its handling! 

Currently Kadence is racing Junior 1 karts, both indoors and outdoors, on dirt, asphalt and coke syrup. She runs a clone, flathead and most recently an animal motor/class and last year she was asked to run a 2-cylemotor in the 2-cycle nationals by an engine builder.

Her goal for this year is to do well in the IKF Nationals in July and win the (MAOS) Midwest Asphalt Oval Series which is a new series that involves 5 races in 5 states (Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Iowa, and Illinois). With the first two races of the series under her belt she is well on her way, she is currently the Junior 1 Elite Champion Leader in the series!

Kadence is very determined. She doesn't see anything as an obstacle. She says, “It's all exciting and a challenge so I always want to go back for more because I learn something new every race.” She has big dreams for her racing career. She hopes to be the first female NASCAR driver to win the Daytona 500.  To learn more about how Kadence is doing, follow her on her Facebook page:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Driver Spotlight: Madelyn Hovey

Madelyn Hovey

Madelyn is 4 ½ years old and is going through rookie training in a Quarter Midget. She comes from a racing family. Her great grandfather raced, her grandfather raced, and both her father and older brother, Nickolas, race. She wants to be just like her big brother and she is finally old enough to compete in the sport.

She is in the process of rookie training and will race her 1st race at Little T Speedway on her 5th birthday.

Madelyn is very involved with the family race team and loves spending countless hours in the garage working on the cars with her dad. Her favorite thing about racing is “going fast.”

You can follow Madelyn on her family’s Facebook Page, Hovey Racing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Racing Season Has Started

Sometimes Life Flips You on Your Head

This is Ashlee's first season moving up out of Kid Karts. She is really exited about making the transition. This year we decided to try a new track/club New Castle Raceway as well as race at East Lansing Kart Track. Ashlee really likes New Castle. She enjoys the speed and having more competition compared to previous years.

The first race weekend I had to stay home with Aubree. I didn't feel well and our dog had just had surgery so she needed to rest. Jim and Jerry took Ashlee down to New Castle to practice on Saturday and race on Sunday. Practice day did not start off too well. The throttle was stuck down and Ashlee ended up off the track in a low area that was filled with water from melted snow. The kart was submerged in water and still running, she was drenched but was able to get out safely. She was a little shaken however she went back out to practice and then raced on Sunday. She did well especially for learning a whole new track and finished in 4th place.

The second race weekend started off a little slow. Ashlee seemed to just drive around the track as if she was out for a Sunday drive. As she continued her lap times improved. On Sunday the practice sessions went very well. She took a few seconds off her times from the day before. During qualifying she was doing great. Just as we got excited as they announced her as fastest qualifier for her class, we turned and saw her flip her kart. I tell you I still keep seeing this accident in slow motion. The kart flipping and landing on her leg. She was so upset. She came off the track crying because she was scared and because the kart had bruised her leg when it landed on her.

Ashlee's immediate reaction was that she wanted to be done and "go home". As a mom I was so torn. I wanted to go home too but at the same time she was doing so well and I didn't want her to quit because of an accident. If she didn't get back in that kart that day she may never get back in it. She truly loves the sport and I didn't want to see her give it up that easily. I told her that this is a life lesson- Sometimes life flips you on your head. You need to brush it off and just keep moving forward. Of course her response, "Mom, I didn't flip on my head...the kart landed on my leg." Yes child it was just a metaphor, not an exact description. We let her calm down.

Jim immediately began to fix the kart so that she could go back out and race should she change her mind. Luckily after some discussion with her friends she decided she wanted to go back out and race. Now the problem... Jim wasn't sure he could get the kart ready in time. One of Ashlee's friends decided he had to help. He went back to his trailer and recruited his father to help. With the two of them working on it they got it ready for Ashlee to get back out and race.

Ashlee had qualified on the pole but had to start in the back because she did not weigh in after the accident. She was not disappointed and new she had work to do. She went out there with confidence and worked her way up from 6th to finishing in 3rd. She even had her best lap time in the feature! She wasn't scared and she did not let the accident hold her back. We were so proud!! She faced a challenge and came out the other side on top. 

This girl is tough and is learning to power through the tribulations. These past two race weekends have tested her dedication and mental strength. I cannot say I would have been able to handle situations like this with such maturity when I was 8. I know that these lessons will carry with her throughout her life. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for my girl!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Driver Spotlight: Jessica Still

Jessica Still

Jessica Still is 15 years old and competes in the rookie stock 4 class at a few tracks. She finished 4th in points at Hartwell Speedway in 2013.

When she was 9 years old she was searching for a sport to get involved in. She discovered kart racing. Her neighbor friend raced karts and one night they went to watch him. Jessica thought it looked like a fun sport and decided to give it a try. She found a passion for racing, and when she reached the age of 13 she moved up to the stock 4 class.
Jessica has had many gratifying moments in racing the one that stands out in her mind is when she won her first race at Toccoa Speedway. She also feels honored when she is surrounded by her fans while at the track. She said, ”Just knowing that they support me means so much to me.  I love being at the racetrack, it's like my second home.”

Racing is challenging especially when you are a girl in a “man’s world” but Jessica has faced an even bigger challenge. This past August her doctors found a complex cyst on her thyroid. They thought it was cancer. She had surgery at Children's Heathcare to get it removed and tested for cancer.  Jessica’s racing family was such an amazing support system. “I had so many people praying for me at the track and people I have never met,” she said. When the results came back it was negative!  “The day she was released from the hospital, there was a race at our local track, I went... I had to show them that their prayers worked and I was so thankful for their prayers,” she explains.  The doctors instructed her to take a month off from racing, but she didn’t let that hold her back. “I felt so good the following weekend that I ended up racing, I thought I would just make some hot laps to get used to it, but I felt so good that I was ready to race!!”

Jessica hopes to one day race in the NASCAR circuit but if that dream isn’t possible she would like to continue racing as a weekend hobby. According to Jessica the racetrack is her “safe haven” and she “feels at home at the race track.” For now her goal is to become a better racer and become more experienced in the racing world, she would also like to bring home more wins. 

Jessica is strong in her faith and always puts God first. She looks up to driver Trevor Bayne. She admires the way that he stands up for his faith, and feels that he is not only her role model in racing but in life as well.  She also has many role models that she looks up to at her local race tracks. 
Recently Jessica had the opportunity to be on the new hit reality show "Kim of Queens".  It was episode 10, "Allisyn's Big Bet".  They try to find a diamond in the rough and transform them into a pageant queen.  She said, “It was a lot of fun, I loved that they filmed me at the race track.  It was a great experience and I feel very blessed for the opportunity.”

Racing is not only something that Jessica has a passion for, her family is also 100% committed to the sport. They are her biggest supporters. She is also very grateful for her fans and sponsors, especially her 2014 major sponsor, Athens Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.

To learn more about Jessica Still friend her on her Facebook page at "Jessica Still-Racing"

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Driver Spotlight: Randi Seguin

Driver Spotlight: Randi Seguin

Randi races in the 4 cylinder division at Barrie Speedway in Ontario Canada. It’s a paved oval track where last year she raced a mustang but this year she’ll be racing a Nissan 240sx.

This will be Randi’s fourth season of racing. She began competing in demolition derbies then with her father’s help she transitioned into stock car racing. She is very proud to say that last year she finished top ten in the point’s standings. This year she has her eyes set on finishing in the top five. Eventually she hopes to get into the late model division.

Randi didn’t let the fact that she knew little about racing and working on cars hold her back. She continues to learn driving skills and even works her on her own car. “I still have a lot to learn but I've got great people who are willing to teach. I believe to know your car you need to be hands on as much as possible”, she said. She is starting the season with a new stock car she has been working on and cannot wait to see what this racing season brings.

Follow her on Facebook at: Seguin Racing

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Guest Writer Article: Two Talented Ladies

Two Talented Ladies

By Jason D Searcy

It was recently announced that Paige Decker from Eagle River (WI) was chosen for a ride in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program for 2014.

She will get the opportunity to race in top quality equipment in the NASCAR Whelen All American series Late Model division down South this summer against some real tough competition.  She will race a total of 15 nights for REV Racing at three different tracks: Langley, Hickory and the Motor Mile.

At just 20 years old Paige caught the eye of the right people last year by winning a 60 lap TUNDRA series Super Late Model race at Golden Sands Speedway.  "I am sure being the first female and first rookie to win a Tundra Super Late Model feature helped me" said Decker.

She said the application process was very easy, she put together race highlight from 2013 and filled out the paperwork online.  When it came time for the on-track audition at Langley Speedway in October, she did well.  "I think the way I jumped into the car and gave it all I got was a big selling point," said Decker.  "I went out on cold tires and got the car up to speed right away, no one else did that."

Paige is the only female driver to make the cut this year, she will join 5 guys in the program with four of them racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series including Daytona Battle at the Beach winner Daniel Suarez.

Decker hopes to drive some Super Late Model races in the Midwest for her family team this summer, but it depends on funding.

Paige has a lot of respect for the drivers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, when she talks about role models in her career she stays local.  "I definitely look up to the Sauters and Danny Fredrickson" said Decker.  "They run the Midwest up here and when those Southern boys come up, and even the NASCAR guys at the Milwaukee mile. They show them who's boss."

The NASCAR "Drive for Diversity" has helped showcase some talented drivers since its inception in 2004.  Some notable alumni have risen to the top of our sport, including Chip Ganassi Sprint Cup driver Kyle Larson and KB Motorsports Truck series driver Bubba Wallace.

One other local racer has spent her time in the program as well, Molly Rhoads from Hastings (MN).  She was part of the program in both 2006 and 2007, she was chosen from over 300 applicants to be one of 19 drivers to audition at South Boston Speedway driving K&N series cars.

Even though Molly was never offered a racing contract it was a unique experience, she was even interviewed on ESPN.  "The media portion included some training and being interviewed by some of the big TV networks," said Rhoads.  "We didn't know the interviews were going anywhere but to the teams until that night when we were all out for dinner and there I was on ESPN!  That was incredibly cool!"

"I wish I was younger and could have the chance to participate in the program now" said Rhoads.  "The program now seems to be more about promoting the drivers and less about NASCAR being diversified and just a marketing program.  They have come a long way over the years and are offering an awesome program for the lucky few who get to be a part of REV Racing."

Molly is a car owner and has continued her racing career here in Minnesota with the exception of 2013 when some health problems kept her off the track.  She expects to resume racing a Super Late Model at Elko Speedway and the TUNDRA series this summer upon approval from her doctors.

Both these ladies are thankful for their opportunities and have represented racing in the Midwest with class.

To Follow on Twitter go to: @MollyRhoads98 @Paige_Decker_03 @SpeedTalkon1360

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Driver Spotlight: Stormi Hansen

Stormi Hansen

Girls Race 2: What type of racing do you currently do?

Stormi: I currently race in circle track dirt racing! I compete in the stock car class at multiple tracks. For the 2013 season I received Rookie of the Year and finished 4th in points at Lawton Speedway.

Girls Race 2: How long have you been racing?

Stormi: The 2013 season was my first season to compete for points and race a full season. Although it was my third year of racing in the stock car class.

Girls Race 2: How did you get your start in racing?

Stormi: Racing is in my blood. 

It is not just something I do for fun it is a way of life. Some of my earliest memories are from going to the race track and making long trips for my dad to race his modified or late model. It is very much a family affair as for two of my older brothers and my brother-in-law also race USMTS modifieds. One year I got to attend the Enid Winternationals and they had one of the biggest turn outs of stock cars I had ever seen, I was amazed. I told my dad that night I would have a stock car and I would race at Enid Winternationals. The following year I had my stock car and I was there for the show, I made the A feature and finished 7 out of a over 30 car field.

Girls Race 2: What is your proudest moment in your racing career so far?

Stormi: My proudest moment is just every time I am able to pull on to that track and race. Being able to prove that girls can race and are good is such an amazing feeling. Also knowing how many fans I have in the stands that come just to watch me race, when they come to the pits for autographs an pictures after the races is one of the best feelings a racer can get.

Girls Race 2:  What is your goal for this season?

Stormi: The 2013 season proved to be interesting with many ups and downs but I was able to finish 4th in points which is a great achievement, but I want more. I want to be bigger and better, I want that Championship trophy in my room!

Girls Race 2: What is your goal for your career in racing?

Stormi: I want to have fun.  That could mean continuing to race a stock car or maybe even moving up to a Limited Modified.

Girls Race 2: Who do you look up to/admire in racing?

Stormi: I do not have just one person I look up to, racing has so many great influences. It is such a great sport to be a part of, but the racers I look up to most have to be my two older brothers and dad. They are always there when I can't decide if I should put 12 or 14 psi in my right rear tire.

Girls Race 2: What challenges in your racing career have you faced? How did you overcome your challenge?

Stormi: The one thing I noticed that wasn't really a challenge but more of a life lesson is being a female racer. My first race I knew a lot of the racers but  I think some thought I expected special treatment or that I would just be in there way. Although over the years I have learned respect is one of the most important things, if you show respect you will get respect. I believe in "rubbing is racing" but if I rub you or get in to you on the track I make a point to come find you personally and apologize. There has been a few nights that another racer coming up after the race and offering a simple apology made the night a whole lot more enjoyable.

Girls Race 2: Is there anything unique or interesting about you that you’d like to share?

Stormi: I love working on my car, many people just assume my dad and brothers do all of the work and I just drive but that isn't how it works. I can change gears, swap rear ends, check valves, and just about everything any male can do! If I need help or don't know how to do something my brother will always give me plenty of time trying before he offers help then he teaches me how instead of just doing it for me. 

Stormi’s Facebook Page:  stormihansen86/