Thursday, February 28, 2013

Driver Spotlight: Rylee Michaelson

Rylee Michaelson

Rylee Michaelson has an impressive resume in the race world. She began racing when she was 19 years old and is going into her 4th year of her racing career. She got her interest in racing as a spectator just like everyone else in the stands. She loved going to the track for the different events and decided that instead of being a bystander she needed to be a part of the action. She took her mom's old daily driver and turned it into a race car. According to Rylee, "This car was slow heavy and all wrong for racing but it got me hooked."

Rylee enjoys many aspects of racing. "My favorite thing about racing is that when you're on the track the competition is at its highest and everyone has come to win but the second you are off the track everyone, even direct opponents, are willing to help you build your car and give you tips on settings and such. The family component of racing is what makes racing very unique and special." She has been racing for four years and had several accomplishments. Her proudest moment was when she won her first heat race, the same day that she and her team were awarded the best appearing car and crew. "It took me along time to receive a trophy and that day I took home two. It was a great feeling."

Outside of racing Rylee is a strong advocate for a good education. She just graduated with her Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Minnesota. She is also an active participant at her local church, River Valley Church.

Rylee would someday love opportunity to race in any open-wheeled car series. "They are so light and so fast. There really isn't much there other then the motor, the tires and the driver. I think that would be an awesome experience." Her advice for other female drivers, "In summing up all that I have learned in my four years of racing I would have to say to young girls - not only on the topic of motor sports but in all areas if life -  don't *EVER* give up on your dreams. I promise you that a day will come when someone doesn't believe in your abilities. When that day comes, take a step back and ask yourself, 'Am I willing to let this person change the course of my life for the worst simply because they lack the dreams and strengths that I have spent my entire life building?' My hope is that the answer, for all girls who aspire to be something unique and truly special, is no. Philippians 4:13, *ALL* things are possible."

Here is a list of Rylee's Accomplishments:

*2010*:    Seventeenth in points (NASCAR Whelen Series, Raceway Park Shakopee)

*2011*:    Tenth in Points (NASCAR Whelen Series, Raceway Park Shakopee)

Attended BIR Performance Driving School

Top 100 in the Nation (NASCAR Finalist Program, All American Series Division V- Asphalt)

Interviewed by Women of the Wild Outdoor

Appeared in Shakopee Days Parade with my race car

Savage/Burnsville Local papers

Image appeared in the Star Tribune in BIR article

Modeled for Brainerd International Raceway

Featured on Race for Girls website

 *2012*:   Tenth in Points (NASCAR Whelen Series, Raceway Park Shakopee)

Top 100 in the Nation (NASCAR Program, All American Series Division V-Asphalt)

Best Appearing Car and Crew award (Raceway Park Shakopee)

Won 5 heat races, Raceway Park Shakopee

Featured in Midwest Racing Connection for heat race win

Savage/Burnsville Local papers

Attended BIR Performance Driving School

Became an instructor for the Monticello Rotary Club, Teen Accident Avoidance Class

Featured on Race for Girls website

Follow Rylee Michaelson on her Facebook Page

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Finally Some Pink!!

Our New Racing Suits

Last year when we began our racing journey we looked all over for pink, purple, really anything at all that remotely was feminine in the racing suit department. We realized that without going with a custom suit, we were stuck with black. Ashlee really wasn't excited about blue, red or any of the other "boy" colors.

This year we have partnered with Axcel Sports to design suits that any girl would love. Ashlee & Aubree are so excited to get them. Dad also has plans to get them pink shoes and gloves. Just a few of the exciting new things for the 2013 race season!!

To keep up with our race team visit our website:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Weekend Race Results 2/15-2/16/13 & 2/22-2/23/13

Weekend Race Results


Andy Kahle made it to the quarter finals

Weekend Race Results


McKinzie Culbertson clean sweep of both Heats and Feature Jr1 class Thunderdome in Marshalltown, Iowa

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Driver Spotlight: Alyssa Lasater

Alyssa Lasater

Alyssa Lasater is going into her 10th year of racing. In 2003 after watching her brother race she decided she wanted to give racing a try as well. She had to make the sacrifice of giving up her other competitive sports however she felt it was well worth it. Alyssa was good enough to take the time to answer some questions.

Girls Race 2: You've been racing for over 10 years and have had many successes. What is your favorite accomplishment?

Alyssa: Oh wow, I have so many. I have two I'll share, its hard to pick. The first one, I went to my first ever National Event in Batesville, Mississippi in 2011 and i finished 5th out of 19 karts being the only female to get a podium finish that weekend. My second one, came that same year, I traveled to Emma Raceway for race number 1 in the Chain Draggone Dirt Series and I didn't start the night off on the right foot. I was under weight in the first heat race and then the second heat race we didn't have the right set up, so we went out in the feature starting last (18). I worked my way up to the field, picking people off left and right. They kart worked great, I was running 3rd with just two laps to go, I passed for second going into turn one and was still about a kart length behind the leader. I had worked so hard to get up to the front, I wasn't going to lose this race. Coming to the white flag, I got my kart up to the bumper of the leader and I knew it was a now or never move. Going into turn 3 I went high and dove down below the leader coming out of 4 and took the lead coming to the line! Was one of the greatest feelings ever, to work so hard, stay focus and be consistent and capture the win.

Girls Race 2: You are involved in racing ministries. Can you tell us a little about that?

Alyssa: Yes, I just got back from a training seminar in Charlotte, North Carolina with Motor Racing Outreach, ( A Ministry team that reaches out to the different race series around the United States. Most people have heard about MRO involved with NASCAR. I went to this ministry training to become a Motor Racing Chaplin, so I could reach out to more people in the racing community and pray for them, speak words of life in the the lost, and just to be a helpful person for anyone to come to at the race tracks, who may need prayer, advice, a hug, and even a smile. I have felt for the past couple years, God calling me to be apart of a ministry team with in my racing. So last year, I started a little ministry called Christ Driven Ministries. I spoke a couple events and did short invocations on Sunday races. This year, now since I am involved in MRO I will be reaching out to more people a crossed the United States, which i am very excited about!

Girls Race 2: How has being a girl in a boys world affected you? How have you overcome the negative treatment? Do you feel that your fellow racers respect you now?

Alyssa: It is rough, definitely a challenge. I have learned that guys take offence if they get passed or beat by a girl. I have been taking out while leading a race on the last lap because they couldn't stand to get beat by me, a female racer. I have learned to take what I can get, not to get upset when i get they start saying hateful thing about me, threaten me and take me out on the track. I just clear my head, put on my helmet, kneel down beside my kart and pray to God for safety, courage and wisdom before each and every race. Every race is a new race, go out with a positive attitude and forget about all the negative, hateful threats and just race your race. When the green flag drops, it is anyone's race. Just like everyone in this sport, we all have to earn respect from other drivers but I personally think being a female racer, it is harder to gain the respect we deserve.

Girls Race 2: You have been involved in many different sports. Do you have a favorite?

Alyssa: My favorite sport outside of racing is softball. Its so much fun to be able to go outside on a summer day or night and play on the softball diamond with a group of friends. Last year I played on a slow pitch softball team, and I loved every minute of it! Can't wait for this season to start!

Girls Race 2: Why have you chosen a career in racing?

Alyssa: Racing is a sport that gets your adrenaline going and your blood pumping. When you are out on the track going full speed, in race mode, you get this feeling that no other sport that I have participated in gives. Its hard to describe but i know that if your a racer, you understand what i am talking about. I knew when I first sat in the seat and put my helmet on, that I was gonna be a racer, I just knew I wanted a career in motorsports.  God has given me this talent for a reason. So with what God has given me, I am sharing His word and His Love with the world, by shining the light every lap I take. Plus you can meet a lot of great people, reach out to younger racers who may need your advice and help and the racing community is a Family, you don't see the love and support from the community like that in other sports.

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

Alyssa: My ultimate goal would be to make it to the Camping World Truck series and race my way to the top of the NASCAR divisions, and eventually be able to own my own World Of Outlaw Late Model team.

Girls Race 2: Do you have anyone in the sport of racing that you look up to?

Alyssa: I look up to the Women in Motorsports a lot. Jennifer Jo Cobb is from Kansas and I look up to her, her determination, drive, courage and her fight that she has to stand up for her self and continue to work hard with your limited budget to get out on the track each week and compete in the Camping World Truck Series. She even owns her own Truck team, now that is just Awesome!

Girls Race 2: Do you have any advice for other girls out there in the sport of racing?

Alyssa: NEVER give up, Dream big, achieve your goals and Chase after your dreams! Don't get discouraged when you don't get the finish you were looking for. Don't let the guys get to you, they can be big bullies, not want you out on the track with them and they will take you out because you intimidate them. But don't let them take you completely out of the sport. Racing is not a Male Dominated sport anymore, look and see at all the women in Motorsports  you can do it! Another thing, be your self, don't try being someone your not. Stay focused on your career, your goals and your values. Most importantly Have FUN!

Follow Alyssa Lasater on Facebook or read more about Motor Racing Outreach.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Two For The Road: Danica Does It

Two For The Road: Danica Does It: by Tammy (who's going to get all feminist on you) I know, I know. You're going to tell me that pole position for a race as nutso and long ...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Driver Spotlight: Isabella Minchella

Isabella Minchella

Isabella has an impressive racing resume at the young age of 11. She started racing dirt bikes at age 6 she won the first race she ever entered. Bella started racing go karts at age 7. To date Bella has won over 12 features (full fields) has won a Hoosier tire championship in 2010 and finished 2nd in 2012. Bella was the first female to win races at both tracks in New Hampshire. Her kart has been features in the 2012 Briggs & Stratton racing calender. One of her greatest accomplishments thus far was winning 4 races at 3 different tracks all in one weekend! Bella currently races at 4 different tracks, Stafford Motor Speedway and Pomfret Speedway both in Conneticut. She also races at Twin State and RT.106 in New Hampshire. Her current ride is a 2011 Wild Thing Tiger Sprint #99 they run Briggs alcohol motors and Hoosier tires. The average field of karts is 13 with some holding as many as 20 karts, most races are 15 laps and some races are as many as 30.

A lot of Bella's success comes from her ability to work on the kart, it has really helped her understand what the kart is doing, she can change the gears the oil and tire stagger with little to no help. Bella along with her older brother, Nathan, both help maintain the kart. Another helpful hint to parents that her father found is that like most kids Bella shuts him off after he over loads her up with driving tips, so he found a female teenage kart driver to help coach her. Together the "coach" and her father watch her laps and then pick a few places to make improvements. Bella really responded to a teenager willing to help.

When asked why she likes to race she says, "It's really fun and I like doing my best." Her favorite thing about racing is all the friends she has made the traveling to tracks and winning big trophies.  Along with racing, Isabella is also involved in cheerleading for Pop Warner football. She is a flyer, which makes her dad very nervous! Bella's future goals in racing is to keep having fun and to make it to the full size cars.

To read more about Bella "Like" her Facebook page under Minchella Racing and more info about Wild Thing Karts can be found at

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Driver Spotlight: Michele Bumgarner

Michele Bumgarner

Michele has had a racing career that many people dream of. She has raced all over the world Italy, Asia, and the US. She participated in Asia-Pacific Karting Championships Japan, Shell Super Karting Series, Asian Karting Open Championship (AKOC), and the Italian Masters Series. In Rock Island, Illinois she won back to back Rock Island Grand Prix street races in 2008 and 2009. Michele has also experienced other forms of racing such as competing in Asian Formula Three Championship, 2008 Star Mazda Championship, and testing a few times with Indy Lights.

Michele's racing career began in karts when she was 6 years old at her father's fun kart track in Subic Bay. Her father raced karts all over the Philippines and would bring the family along. When Michele's brother was 5 years old he got a mini kart and she was jealous. She asked her father for one and according to Michele "the rest was history." With all of her success she was able to travel and race in many different places. Michele's favorite experience, "without a doubt my two years racing karts in Italy. Don't get me wrong, I love racing cars and going up the ladder, but nothing compares to the competitiveness and the atmosphere that every race weekend always felt like a World Championship Race was simply amazing!" Traveling the world racing has other benefits as well. Her favorite aspects about traveling are, "definitely meeting different people from different cultures and trying their local food."

Michele is a successful woman in the sport of racing. I asked her if she experienced any challenges that come with that. "Being a woman in a man dominated sport, you have to expect it so I don't think about it too much. But there was one incident that I won't ever forget that made me realized that I was respected equally as a driver. It was in 2005, Asia Pacific ICA Championship in Suzuka, Japan and I had won a heat race against top drivers from all over the world, including factory driver for Intrepid at the time, Jaime Alguersuari, had clinched the fastest lap and was the first ever female to do so at such a prestigious event. After the race, Jaime, his mechanic and Intrepid Karts owner Mirko Squerzoni and others around the paddock all gave me hugs and congratulated me. To have those respected people in the racing industry do that was just very surreal for me and one that I will never forget."

Michele loves every aspect of racing. She looks forward to her next racing venture which is still in the works. She promises to keep us posted!!

To follow Michele Bumgarner visit her Facebook Page or follow her on Twitter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Weekend Race Results 2/8-2/10/13

Weekend Race Results


Courtney Atkinson, Roebling Road Raceway, two wins, one second.

Friday, February 8, 2013

History of Women in Racing: Kart Drivers

Inspirational Women in Motorsports: Karting Edition

Kathey Hartman

Kathey, known as the "Queen of Champions," began karting in 1963 at Crescent Kartway in Ohio. She won her first National Championship in 1966 when she took the Modified Light Crown at Quincy, Illinois. Hartman won her first enduro championship at the 1969 Nationals taking the Stock Heavy Title. In 1970 she took home the Stock Light Gold in Indy and two titles; Limited and America Reed Senior Light at the Indy Nationals. In total she 15 national and 3 Grand National Titles. No other driver won 2 Grand National Championships in a row, as Kathey did in 1971 and 1972. Kathey has said that her achievements in karting must be shared with her husband, chief of Hartman Engineering, which introduced the firsts lay-down enduro kart in 1963.

Faye 'Ladybug' Pierson

Faye participated in the first Grand Nationals in 1959 where she finished 2nd behind Jimmy Yamane in the “A” Class. Over the next three years Faye went on to race the world over for their Team Bug including the U.S., Mexico, the Bahamas, England and Italy.  Faye's accomplishments are winning two years in a row the infamous and quite grueling 100 Miler in Tecate, Mexico. Faye Pierson along with her late husband Tom Pierson, founded Bug Engineering in 1958 which later became K&P Manufacturing, a business is manufacturing karts today in the Azusa area of Los Angeles, California.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Weekend Race Results 2/1-2/3/13

Weekend Race Results

Kendahl Erb #23, Amateur Jr 1. Season starts in April 2013,

Kinzie Culbertson Marshalltown Iowa Thunder Dome, 1st in heat 1, 2nd in Heat 2 and 2nd in the Feature Jr1 Class.

Flyin' Faith Schuch, Grand Rapids Delta Plex, Midwest Indoor Racing Series, finished 4th in both heat races and 3rd in the feature! She was the only girl in the 9 kart field!! Purple plate kart class.

Flyin' Faith at her race on Saturday

Kayli Barker, Friday - 4th overall and 2nd in my division. Saturday - 2nd overall and 2nd in my division. Sunday - 11th overall due to a blown motor, Bandolero, Las Vegas Motor Speedway Road Course

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Book Review: Dead Man's Switch

Dead Man's Switch: A Kate Reilly Racing Mystery

Ok so I finally did it...I finished reading this book! It is no reflection on the book by any means..well maybe it is. I really did like this book. If I didn't, I can promise you it would have never finished it. Reading is just not at the top of my hobby list. Tammy did a great job of taking you on the journey of this murder mystery while guiding the readers through the Le Mans racing experience. I feel like I understand more about this type of racing that I was completely unfamiliar with. You felt as though you were in the car with Kate in her racing experiences. Overall it was a quick and easy read. I would recommend it! Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the main character, Kate, that pertained to her outlook on females in the world of motorsports:

"In football or hockey the athlete's size is everything. You wear sized equipment and your mass helps you advance or defend. In racing Mike (her male co-driver) and I wear the same size car. Once you get into that car, we're all the same in bulk and power. Racing is about concentration. About always driving the correct line through a corner, driving the car at the edge of it's capabilities, more than it's about sheer muscle mass. Sure, the C6.R is heavy- heavier than most cars- and you can feel that, but it's really well-balanced- besides, I have to manipulate it, not carry it. It's more about concentration, hand-eye coordination, and general fitness than the ability to bench press your own body weight."

"Cars don't care if you're male or female. The strength you need most isn't physical- it's mental. Competing, thinking ahead down the racetrack, and concentrating on just one thing for a couple hours at a time."

You can purchase this book on Amazon. I bought the Kindle version but there is also a paperback version.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

History of Women in Racing

Inspirational Women in Motorsports #1

There have been many amazing women in the history of motorsports. Throughout this journey I felt the need to do a little research. Many of you may already know about these inspiring ladies, but I'm just learning. I thought I'd share the information I learned with those of you who are learning and a reminder for those of you who are already versed in the history of women's motorsports. I plan to keep researching but for now here are 4 of the pioneers in women's racing.

Louise Smith (1916-2006), Louise was known as "The First Lady of Racing." She was a pioneer of stock-car racing and the first woman inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. She raced from 1949 to 1956. She won 38 races in her career in numerous formats: late models, modifieds (28 victories), midgets, and sportsman. She returned to the racing scene in 1971 as a car owner for numerous drivers.

Janet Guthrie (1938-   ), Janet started her racing career in 1963. In 1977 she became the first woman to qualify and compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500. She had the highest finish by a woman in the Indianapolis 500 until 2005. Guthrie went on to compete in 33 races in NASCAR over four seasons, finishing as high as sixth place. She competed in 11 IndyCar races finishing as high as 5th. Janet has an autobiography written in 2005, Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle.

Shirley Muldowney (1940-  ), Shirley became infatuated with drag racing as a teenager in the 1950's. She obtained her NHRA pro license in 1965. In 1969 and 1970 she competed in U.S. Nationals in a twin-engine dragster in Top Gas. As Top Gas lost popularity, she began racing Funny Car. Shirley won her first major event IHRA Southern Nationals in 1971. She won 3 NHRA Top Fuel championships in 1977, 1980, and 1982. She was named to drag racing's All-American team five times, leading the voting in two occasions.

Lyn St. James (1947-  ), Lyn's debut in racing was in 1973 in the Amateur Sports Car Club of America. She began racing in the Indy Racing Series in 1992 and was the first woman to win the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year. She raced in 7 Indianapolis 500's in 9 years, including 6 consecutive starts (1992-1997.) In 2000 at the age of 53 she was the oldest driver in the field in the Indianapolis 500. Lyn is currently a motivational speaker and is promoting young up and coming racers. She established Women in the Winners Circle Foundation in 1994 and the Annual Awards Celebration in 2003. In 2010 she published Lyn St. James- An Incredible Journey. She is working with The Henry Ford Museum on Women in The Winners Circle: The Traveling Exhibit. (Personally I would LOVE to see this exhibit with my kids!!!)