Kaley Engstrom is part of a racing family. Her father has owned a kart shop since she was young. When she was little she would be at the track watching her oldest sister race her kart. As soon as her parents decided she was old enough they bought her a kid kart. After her first race she couldn't get enough of it. All 3 of the Engstrom girls have been involved in racing. Her eldest sister Amber was always the intimidating racer, and she was one of the best at our local track. A while after Kaley started racing her older sister Megan decided she wanted to get involved in the family sport and began racing as well. Kaley says,"Megan is the one they're always having to bang sheet metal for, but she's always getting better on the track." Kaley currently races a micro sprint, a 305 sprint, and a midget. Her father still owns his kart shop as well as a track. According to Kaley, "Without racing I don't know what my family would do!"
Recently Kaley had the opportunity to race in one of open wheel racing's most well known races the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma. McCreery Motorsports gave her the opportunity to race their midget. She and her teammate were the two best finishing female drivers at the race. "The Chili Bowl was so amazing, and such a humbling experience to be around such great racers. I actually told myself last year at this time that I was going to race the Chili Bowl no matter what, and I made it happen! And my teammate and I were the two best finishing female drivers at the chili bowl, so that was pretty awesome! I couldn't have asked for a better team, McCreery Motorsports has been so helpful and I'm thankful they let me get in and race their midget!" Kaley's dream for her racing career would be to be able to race professionally and make a living doing it. She says her realistic goal would be to own a dirt car team that can travel all over the states.
Kaley is currently a high school senior. She is home schooled so she feels it's pretty easy for her to balance her school work and working on the cars or racing. What is a little more difficult is to balance her social life. Her friends will always ask her to hang out with them on race weekends, or when she's out of town racing. So it makes it hard for her to hang out with her friends and just be a teenager, but she wouldn't change it for anything.
Though she is only 17 years old she is a young entrepreneur. K&K Race Services is a business she started about a year ago. It involves her maintaining peoples cars, going to the races with them on weekends and setting up their cars, she puts on driving schools for younger racers to help them get better on the track. Kaley says, "Its the best feeling watching the kids that I help and taught go out and win on race day!"
Kaley's advice for young racers, "Never give up, you'll always have those off weekends but you just have to work through them because you never know who will be at the track watching you! I've been through the ups and downs in racing and 1 up overcomes 10 downs. And it doesn't matter if your a girl or a boy, if you have the courage and drive you can make it to the top."
Thank you Kaley for sharing your story!! Looking forward to watching you take over the racing world! To follow Kaley's racing career check out her Facebook Page or her Website.