Saturday, January 19, 2013

Driver Spotlight: Bella Cosstick

Bella Cosstick 

GirlsRace2: How long have you been racing?

Bella: This April will mark the start of my 3rd racing season.

GirlsRace2: What type of racing have you done/ do you do?

Bella: In my first 2 years of racing I have been cutting my teeth in a grassroots "beginner series" at the Brighton Speedway here in Ontario Canada. It is a one third mile dirt oval, my series is - stock North American, 6 Cylinder, front wheel drive automatics.

GirlsRace2: How did you get your start?

Bella: My family started going to the (local track) Brighton Speedway about 7 years ago. I made a lot of friends at the track that raced in several classes and I learned a lot about their cars and racing from them. Eventually , I got the urge to race so for the next 3 years I constantly pestered my parents to let me race, which came with their resounding "no, not this year" every time. Then on my 17th birthday they finally said yes. It was probably the best decision they ever made in allowing me to mature a little more before letting me jump into this sport. Since I did not even have my driver’s licence yet let alone, had I actually ever been behind the wheel of a car; By holding me back a little while allowed me to grow a little wiser of all aspects of the sport. Gaining more knowledge of the cars, driving on dirt, acquiring sponsorships and keeping a budget. That first year I even parlayed my racing experience into a business project in school. I set up my team just as a NASCAR team, kept track of operating costs and repairs to the car. Since this initiation class is a non-money class I had to fudge place/finish earnings but in the end I had a great first summer of racing and a pretty good mark on that course too. I must also admit that my parents holding the reigns on me a little also caused my passion for racing burn a little hotter.

GirlsRace2: What do you love most about racing?

Bella: I love the close relationships that can develop at the track. My family and I often joke that I have two families: My birth family and my "track family!" It is truly amazing to see how willing most of the other racers are to help you and give you tips. It doesn't matter what class you are in, someone will always be nearby to lend a hand on a jack, loan you a tire or wrench, even provide advice on track conditions, or how to set up going into turn 3 to better carry your speed through turn 4 without smacking the wall and "scaring the crap out of mom."

GirlsRace2: What is your proudest accomplishment in racing?

Bella: I would have to say my proudest accomplishment in racing is this past season. My goal going into last season was 10th place over all. The final race of the season saw me start 12th in the feature and I went on to finish 4th. That was my very first top 5 feature finish and it pushed me up in the points to 9th overall in points out of 22 entries... Personal Goal achieved!

GirlsRace2: What other hobbies do you have or are you involved in?

Bella: I am attending my first year at college where I am enrolled in an Early Childhood Education Program. I play intramural soccer and hang with more new friends I have acquired there. Maybe I can call this my "College family," I also enjoy shooting hoops and country music.

GirlsRace2: What are your goals for your racing career?

Bella: My goals for my racing career are to get some feature wins, “Gotta get the checkers.” I would love to race sprint cars with the World of Outlaws if given the chance. I also hope to be someone that young girls can look up to not only in the world of racing but in life. You can do/be anything you want to but you have to put the effort in to achieve it.

GirlsRace2: Is there anything you want to share with your fans and future fans?

Bella: The one thing I would like to share is Never Give Up! No matter what, keep chasing your dreams. Work hard, it does pay off. My very first race in my first car, I picked up a power steering leak. It got onto the hot exhaust and the car caught on fire. We chased that leaky line for a few weeks before we finally solved the issue. Then, half way through that first season I got T-boned in the driver’s side door and it misaligned my vertebrae so I had to go through months of physiotherapy. Another car was given to me and we finished that first season and started last season with it. A few weeks in it acquired a computer/electronic issue and we though our season was done. We then found my current car a Chrysler Intrepid and we finished the season strong not as pretty but it was a fantastic ride last summer. So, I have gone through 3 different cars some back adjustments, but I cannot begin to explain the rush you feel when all your hard work pays you back with a good finish.

GirlsRace2: Do you have any advice for other girls out there racing or that would like to get involved in the sport of racing?

Bella: Along with never giving up. As much as racing is still very much a male dominated sport especially in the pro ranks, I thought that the girls who raced at the track would want to stick together and help each other out more.This is not always the case. I have always hated bullies and witnessed first-hand at our track, girls whom I believed to be good friends with, prior to my racing seemed to have a change in attitude when I started racing. They would become very nasty in the things they said to me and to others about me. But I kept close to my real family and my real "Track Family" for support, worked hard to put the bullies and their antics behind me and improve in my racing. So what I am trying to say is don't let girls like that get you down because they are jealous that the light may no longer just on them. You are just as much of a big deal and deserve just as much enjoyment in this sport as anyone else. When you are young who knows what your future holds, don't let people like that hold you back. So ... Say NO to DRUGS! Say NO to BULLIESNEVER GIVE UP! ... and ... "Dirt's for racin' - Pavements for gettin' there!"

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