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!

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