Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Driver Spotlight- Stephanie Geare


Stephanie Geare

Stephanie Geare had a go kart when she was young. She had no idea that there was a place where she could go out and race it. Looking back now she thinks she would have really enjoyed it back then too. She has been racing the last 2 1/2 years at East Lansing Kart Track with her father. She is a great inspriation to the other girls at the track. Stephanie hopes to take her kart racing career a little further next year and race with the Great Lakes Sprint Series. She loves to work on her kart and is constantly trying to learn all she can about the mechanical side of things. She has big dreams of some day being the first female Formula One racer.

For Stephanie's race results click here

Custom Race Suits

Pink & Purple Race Suit

I was looking for a more feminine racing suit. Here is an example of a custom suit. I sure wish there were more standard options for girls versus the extremely expensive custom options. Click her for the direct link to K1 Race Gear where I found this suit.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Importance of Helping Others

I don't know what it's like at your local track, but at ours other racers and their families are very helpful. Basically we all want to see everyone have the chance to race and be able to put your best foot forward. Some examples of it happened this week. One of the boys racing in the kid karts didn't have a gas cap. He asked around and another father was able to provide him with one, the same day another kid needed brake pads. My husband had a spare set and was able to help him. We have had days where we were having issues with my daughters' kart and all of the dads and fellow racers were surrounding her kart trying to solve the issue so that she could race.

Everywhere you go there will always be people who chose to be selfish and unethical but I'm so glad to say that we really haven't had much experience with those types of people at the track. I'm sure as things get more competitive and she moves up the karting ranks things will change, but for now I have to say I love the camaraderie and helpful nature of our local racing club. I think that you could call it "good sportsmanship."

Driver Spotlight- Sondi Eden

Sondi Eden

Known for her aggressive but clean driving style, Sondi brings to the sport a special blend of small-town values, intelligence, youth, and character. “I have been to several of her races,” says Indianapolis Motor Speedway Network announcer Howdy Bell, “and I have yet to find anyone who has anything negative to say about Sondi.” In addition to earning the admiration of fans and fellow drivers, Sondi has also garnered favorable media attention. She’s twice been featured in USA Today, was recognized as a rising star by National Speed Sport News, and appeared on the Discovery Channel’s reality show Roush Racing: Driver X.

Kenyon Midgets- 25 races with 6 feature wins. Third in points and second in driver rankings.
National Midget Series (NAMARS) - Named NAMARS Rookie of the Year.
8 top tens and 5 top fives - Chosen for Lyn St. James Driver Development School.
Feature win- 3rd in ARCA Midget points - 8th in NAMARS points with 10 top tens and 5 top fives.

Hard Charger award and Most Improved award.
2 Feature wins - 2nd in ARCA Midget points with 7 top fives - 11 top tens.

Won Quick Time Pole award.
Won NAMARS Regional Championship - Won Indianapolis Speedrome
Championship - 2 feature wins - 2 poles - 12 top fives - 18 top tens.

Chosen to participate in NASCAR’s inaugural Scouting Combine.
USAC Regional Midget Series Champion - 1 feature win - 8 top fives - 13 top tens.

410 Pavement Wing Sprint Cars - 6th in points - 2 heat wins - 4 top fives - 10 top tens.

Selected to participate in NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity driver development program. 1 of 12 selected from over 150 applicants.

Selected to participate in Nunn Motorsports testing at Texas Motor Speedway for IRL.

Menards Infinity Pro Series.
410 Pavement Wing Sprint Cars - 4th in points.

USAC Silver Crown Pavement Series.

Selected to participate in Roush Racing’s Driver X/Discovery Channel Reality Show. 1 of 25 selected from over 1,700 applicants - finished in the top 7.

USAC’s Kara Hendrick Spirit Award.
Late Models - CRA Super Series - 7th in points/FASCAR.
Featured as a "Rising Star" in May 29, 2002 National Speed Sport News.

Featured in USA Today (twice).

2004 Pat O’Connor Award based on off-track & on-track performance.

Has attended multiple driving schools and racing-related seminars.

To learn more about Sondi Eden visit her website or find her on Facebook.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Driver Spotlight- Samanta Jansen

Samantha Jansen


When Samantha was young she had a paper route she came up with an idea of getting a go-kart to use for delivering papers. Her father agreed to get her a kart as long as she agreed to race it. She agreed to the deal and her father got her the kart. It turned out she had a talent in racing so her father moved her up. She won her first race on her late sister's birthdy. It was only her 5th race ever. She decided to put "In memor of my sister Nicole" on all of her cars.

Samantha has been racing a total of 14 years now. 3 of them were in go karts and 11 in cars. Currently she is racing Open Wheel Modifieds in the Top Speed Modified Division. She also periodically races Vintage Modifieds in the VROA series and then the occasional superstock race over the last couple of years. What she likes most about racing is first and foremost the speed. According to Smantha she is "a bit of an adreneline junkie." She also likes the fact that the car does not know if the racer is a girl or boy. "I can drive it no different than anyone else which is why everyone is on the same playing field."

She has earned many achievements but some of her biggest acheivements are are that she is the winngingest female in VROA (Vintage Racing Organization of America) and the first female to win a feature and a championship. She has won two VROA championships. She is also currently sitting 2nd in points in the Top Speed Modifieds and leading Rookie of the Year points.

When we watched Samantha race out at Berlin Raceway in Marne, MI. The girls were routing for her every step of the way. In fact we noticed she was a fan favorite. The little girls loved the fact that she had Tinker Bell on her car. I asked her what made her decide to put Tinker Bell on her car and she said, "I decided on tinkerbell because for one I liked her as a kid, and it was time to get rid of the tweety bird since that had been on my car for a few years." Her car is also pink which definately sets her apart from her male competition. I asked her what ways her car reflected her personality. She told me, "I think my cars still show a bit of my girly side. Just because I participate in a male dominated sport doesn't mean that I am not still interested in the girly things.

Samantha's advice for girl racers, "You are just as good as all of the guys out there racing, make sure that you don't give up. As a female it takes a bit longer to earn the respect of the other drivers but once that is established it is well worth it."

Thank you Samantha! We apprciate you taking the time to share your inspirational career. We wish you all the best for the rest of your season and your future career.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Driver Spotlight- Courtney Jo Atkinson

I had the wonderful opportunity to get in touch with a very talented driver named Courtney Jo Atkinson. She was very gracoius about sharing information about her racing career.

Every weekend Courtney Jo Atkinson would watch her father race his dirt late model. Eventually she decided she no longer wanted to be just a spectator. Courtney's racing career began in 2006 at a local sprint track (Badger Kart Club in Dousman, WI). Soon enough she got bored and wanted to go faster; so she joined the Championship Enduro Series (road racing) and traveled around the Mid-West states to race. A year later she found WKA's road racing series and has been racing with them since 2008.

Courtney's favorite thing about racing is that she is able to spend time with her father and have a blast while doing it. It has been their way to bond for years. She also loves just being at the track. When she is there she feels like she has stepped into a whole new world. "It almost seems I can be one with the kart and clear my head and just concentrate and what is in front of me and what my next move will be." Courtney has a lot to be proud of in her career, she is the only woman in WKA Road Race history to win two triple crowns. She was very excited about winning the first one but the second one according to Courtney was "just amazing!!!"

Courtney is definately someone for other girl racers to look up to. She has this advice to share with other girls out there racing, "Never give up. It gets hard and the boys will try and bully you, but that only means that they are scared or intimidated by you. Give it your all and show the boys you are just as tough as they are. You'll get their respect in the long run."

Thank you so much Courtney for sharing your experience and advice!! We are amazed at your career and wish you all the best for your future success. Here are a few more articles about Courtney.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Words of Advice for Karting Parents from CRP Racing

Just a bit of advice to Karting Parents from Kevin at CRP Racing.......

Identify skills early on. If your child wants to participate in kart racing, be realistic about their ability. If they are is just within the age requirement, make sure that they are able to physically handle themselves. Maybe do a test drive or a few practice days in a borrowed kart and see if racing really is for your child.

Don't blame yourself for your child's talents or failures. Disappointment may stem from your own youthful dreams or your sense of personal responsibility. Encourage them to try their very best in a positive manner and support them even when that isn't good enough to win the race. Sometimes the only way to do that is by lending a sympathetic ear. Later, offer to help them practice their skills or go over things like driving line, trail braking etc...

Prevent burnout. If kart racing starts to get in the way of schoolwork or simply having fun, then it may be time for your child to scale back or take a break. Ask your child if they are too tired or if they think they are working too hard. Discuss your concerns with the child, and help your child set priorities.

Stay positive. Don't be hard on your child if they lose a race or fail to qualify. They are bound to to have their bad days, no matter how often they practice. Focus on their efforts, NOT the final outcome. Every finish is a victory if you make it seem that way to the child.

Set a good example. Good sportsmanship starts with you the parent. If your child spots you kicking and screaming at the track, they learn that it's acceptable for them to do so too.

Let kids be kids. Your child needs time to socialize. Unstructured activities with their peers give them time to recuperate from the pressures of the competition and other things like school.

Lastly, The next time you catch yourself being that "not so encouraging" parent at the track. I would invite you to find the nearest kart you can fit in and enter the very next race and see where you finish. I have humbled quite a few fathers by offering them a chance to take my kart out on the track for the next event, not so surprisingly they had an entirely new outlook on their child's racing!

Most Importantly Remember "It All starts with a Winning Attitude!" Good luck and be safe

For more advice and information on Karting visit Kevin's website at

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Driver Spotlight- Katrina Sautbine

Katrina Sautbine

Katrina Sautbine, "Hurrican Katrina" has never let the fact that she is a girl hold her back in her racing career. When she was young her father raced sprint cars. When she was 11 he started her off in go kart racing and she loved it. The following summer she went to Fargo, ND and watched the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. She fell in love with sprint car racing and told her father that one day she would be a sprint car driver. They have worked hard to get her to that point and they are still striving to further her career in sprint car racing.

When she first started out she was racing winged go karts with a 5 horse Briggs and Stratton engine, she ran in that class for a year on an asphalt track. The next year she moved up into the 125cc class with a 125 dirt bike engine. She was in that class for 2 years, which was on dirt. In 2009 she started running in the 500cc class which is the highest class in go karts. The following year she started racing in the micro sprint class with a 600cc crotch rocket engine. She raced in that class for 2010 and 2011. In 2012 she started racing in the Traditional Sprint Car class in the UMSS Series. It is a wingless sprint car class.

Katrina’s biggest supporter is her dad. He has always been there for her. He always told her that she can do whatever she wants and she shouldn’t let boys intimidate her because she is a girl. From the first day he told her that 6 years ago she hasn’t been intimidated by the boys/men she raced against.

Her biggest achievement was in the second year of her racing career. They had a big invitational race at their home track. She hadn't been running the best the entire year but she went out in my heat race and won. In Katrina's words,“Having held off some of the best drivers in the country felt to great. When I came in from the race I had the biggest smile on my face. I got out of the car and my dad gave me a huge hug.” It was such a big accomplishment for her to go out and win the heat. She started on the outside pole in the feature next to the fastest guy in the 125cc class in the country. “It gave me the confidence to be able to go out and do my best for the rest of my racing career since that day.”

Katrina's ultimate goal for her racing career is to make it to the A-Main at the Knoxville Nationals. "It is the kind of race that if you even start it, it shows just how good of a driver you are. There have only been a few females that have ever run the Knoxville Nationals weekend, and it would be an honor to me to be in the line up and get in the sprint car salute, four a breast formation, with the top sprint car drivers in the world." Beyond that she would also like to be the first female to either win the Knoxville Nationals or win the World of Outlaws points.

Her advice to other girl racers is to never give up. "I have been criticized and ridiculed all of my racing career for being a female driver, saying that I will just get in the way out on the track. I have been told that the a girls place at the track is to be there and help out the guys not actually be out on the track. I have proven the boys and men that I have raced against time and time again that I can not only not be in the way out on the track but also be competitive enough to consistently run in the top positions as well as win races. After the boys/men at the track see that you aren't a joke out on the track, and see that you aren't going to back down or quit they will stop saying what they are saying to you and start giving you real respect."
Thank you so much Katrina for your time. We look forward to watching you in the A-Main at the Knoxville Nationals some day!

At the Top of the Podium- What a day!!


Ashlee Opatic- Feature Winner East Lansing Kart Track


I have to say hands down this was my favorite race so far. I know this is only my daughter's rookie season and there will be many more races, but I am so proud of her. All of the kids who have had top results in the kid kart class were there to race on Sunday afternoon. There was a total of 5 karts and their times were were all so close it could have been anyones' game.

The first heat race she was a little anxious and ended up spinning out. She finished that heat in 4th. Sure it  was disappointing but we still had another heat race and of course the big race that really mattered the feature.

The second heat race she started in the 2nd row and had a good start. She was driving really well and ended up finishing in 2nd place. My heart was beating so fast the whole time. I was so excited and nervous all at the same time.

Finally it was time for the feature. She was starting in the 2nd row again. I had to do something to distract myself so I brought my camera with me and snapped pictures the whole way through. She had the best start she pulled out in front just out of the first turn. The kid behind her was breathing down her back and wanted around her badly. She held her own and started to pull away. The entire race she was in the front. (I was so excited and yelling so much. I'm wondering if the parents around me are starting to get used to that??) As she finished in 1st place I was so excited for her. She had accomplished one of her goals!! What parent wouldn't be proud of that?!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Driver Spotlight- Jessica Clark

Jessica Clark

Jessica began her racing career when she was 11 years old in go karts. She has been a driver for Ron Sutton's Winners Circle Racing Team (RSWC) for four years. In 2011 she raced a Ford Focus Midget and became the first female to win two championships in one year in the USAC Series.  She is currently racing a NASCAR Modified for RSWC and she has learned a great deal so far.  For Jessica the transition from an open wheel Midget to a full bodied stock car has been much easier than one would expect. She believes that her experience she gained while racing limited late models for High Point Racing on the side in 2011 helped her with the transition. Her team has had some bad luck this season with numerous mechanical failures, therefore, the results have not been as expected.  However, by next season she and her team will have the car figured out and dialed in to bring home some top running results.
For more information on Jessica visit her website at
Thank you so much Jessica for sharing your story with us. We wish you all the best and look forward to reading about your future successes in your newsletters (available on her website).

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Driver Spotlight- Molly Helmuth

Molly Helmuth

Molly started in go karts at the age of 11 and competed in the IKF Northwest Goldcup Series, traveling all around the Northwest. At the age of 14 she moved into the Foster Press Ministock division for the NASCAR All American series at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA. and became the 2010 Rookie of the Year. In 2011 she continued to race in the Ministock series as well as the Pro4 Truck division. At the end of the 2011 season she made her first appearance in a Super Late Model. In 2012 she was scouted to test in the Ron Sutton Winner Circle Driver Shootout, where she was lucky enough to become a part of the team. The Ron Sutton Winner Circle team is located in Sacramento California. She currently races a Ford Focus Midget with the RSWC team at Stockton 99 Speedway and she also races the Super Late Model at Evergreen Speedway, and is hoping to become the 2012 Rookie of the Year.

Molly's advice to girl racers, "Keep your head up through the rough times, surround yourself with the ones you love and go for your dream."

Molly definately has what it takes to succeed in the racing world. Thank you for your time and advice. We wish you all the best!!

To read more about Molly and to follow her racing career please visit her website:


Helpful WKA Website Info

Here is a link to the WKA website that has some great information for racers who are just getting into the sport.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lady Racers' Radio Show

This great radio show features Lady Racers. Tune in on Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm EST on Re-Airs: Fridays at 1pm and Saturdays at 2pm.

Facebook page:!/pages/Heels-On-Wheels-Radio-Program/304480769648708

2nd Place and Proud of it!

This past Sunday Ashlee finished in 2nd place behind her cousin Kyle. She raced really hard and had her best times of the season. She is continuously improving and we are so proud of her. We had so much fun that day at the track!

Girls Racing Apparel

I found this website online today. They have the cutest shirts and tank tops. The proceeds from the sale of their apparel go to the women drivers they support.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Racing...where to begin

Your daughter has interest in racing. Where do you begin? Well I can only speak from experience in go kart racing. I'm sure other forms of racing are very similar. Here are my words of advice.

1) First you will have to find the closest racing track. The WKA website could be helpful Here is the link for tracks Many local tracks will have lessons. This may be a great first step in deciding whether or not racing is something your child will want to pursue.

2) Type of gear/apparel needed: Racing gloves, fireproof jacket with jeans or racing suit, high top tennis shoes or racing shoes, helmet, chest protector. A few good places to look for this gear is,, or

3) Type of kart you will need will depend on what type of racing you are looking to do and the age of your child. It would be good to some research the WKA website and talk to the people who run your local race track to see what type of karts they race and what their rules are. Many of them use the WKA tech guidelines.

Good luck!!