Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Racing Season Has Started

Sometimes Life Flips You on Your Head

This is Ashlee's first season moving up out of Kid Karts. She is really exited about making the transition. This year we decided to try a new track/club New Castle Raceway as well as race at East Lansing Kart Track. Ashlee really likes New Castle. She enjoys the speed and having more competition compared to previous years.

The first race weekend I had to stay home with Aubree. I didn't feel well and our dog had just had surgery so she needed to rest. Jim and Jerry took Ashlee down to New Castle to practice on Saturday and race on Sunday. Practice day did not start off too well. The throttle was stuck down and Ashlee ended up off the track in a low area that was filled with water from melted snow. The kart was submerged in water and still running, she was drenched but was able to get out safely. She was a little shaken however she went back out to practice and then raced on Sunday. She did well especially for learning a whole new track and finished in 4th place.

The second race weekend started off a little slow. Ashlee seemed to just drive around the track as if she was out for a Sunday drive. As she continued her lap times improved. On Sunday the practice sessions went very well. She took a few seconds off her times from the day before. During qualifying she was doing great. Just as we got excited as they announced her as fastest qualifier for her class, we turned and saw her flip her kart. I tell you I still keep seeing this accident in slow motion. The kart flipping and landing on her leg. She was so upset. She came off the track crying because she was scared and because the kart had bruised her leg when it landed on her.

Ashlee's immediate reaction was that she wanted to be done and "go home". As a mom I was so torn. I wanted to go home too but at the same time she was doing so well and I didn't want her to quit because of an accident. If she didn't get back in that kart that day she may never get back in it. She truly loves the sport and I didn't want to see her give it up that easily. I told her that this is a life lesson- Sometimes life flips you on your head. You need to brush it off and just keep moving forward. Of course her response, "Mom, I didn't flip on my head...the kart landed on my leg." Yes child it was just a metaphor, not an exact description. We let her calm down.

Jim immediately began to fix the kart so that she could go back out and race should she change her mind. Luckily after some discussion with her friends she decided she wanted to go back out and race. Now the problem... Jim wasn't sure he could get the kart ready in time. One of Ashlee's friends decided he had to help. He went back to his trailer and recruited his father to help. With the two of them working on it they got it ready for Ashlee to get back out and race.

Ashlee had qualified on the pole but had to start in the back because she did not weigh in after the accident. She was not disappointed and new she had work to do. She went out there with confidence and worked her way up from 6th to finishing in 3rd. She even had her best lap time in the feature! She wasn't scared and she did not let the accident hold her back. We were so proud!! She faced a challenge and came out the other side on top. 

This girl is tough and is learning to power through the tribulations. These past two race weekends have tested her dedication and mental strength. I cannot say I would have been able to handle situations like this with such maturity when I was 8. I know that these lessons will carry with her throughout her life. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for my girl!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Driver Spotlight: Jessica Still

Jessica Still

Jessica Still is 15 years old and competes in the rookie stock 4 class at a few tracks. She finished 4th in points at Hartwell Speedway in 2013.

When she was 9 years old she was searching for a sport to get involved in. She discovered kart racing. Her neighbor friend raced karts and one night they went to watch him. Jessica thought it looked like a fun sport and decided to give it a try. She found a passion for racing, and when she reached the age of 13 she moved up to the stock 4 class.
Jessica has had many gratifying moments in racing the one that stands out in her mind is when she won her first race at Toccoa Speedway. She also feels honored when she is surrounded by her fans while at the track. She said, ”Just knowing that they support me means so much to me.  I love being at the racetrack, it's like my second home.”

Racing is challenging especially when you are a girl in a “man’s world” but Jessica has faced an even bigger challenge. This past August her doctors found a complex cyst on her thyroid. They thought it was cancer. She had surgery at Children's Heathcare to get it removed and tested for cancer.  Jessica’s racing family was such an amazing support system. “I had so many people praying for me at the track and people I have never met,” she said. When the results came back it was negative!  “The day she was released from the hospital, there was a race at our local track, I went... I had to show them that their prayers worked and I was so thankful for their prayers,” she explains.  The doctors instructed her to take a month off from racing, but she didn’t let that hold her back. “I felt so good the following weekend that I ended up racing, I thought I would just make some hot laps to get used to it, but I felt so good that I was ready to race!!”

Jessica hopes to one day race in the NASCAR circuit but if that dream isn’t possible she would like to continue racing as a weekend hobby. According to Jessica the racetrack is her “safe haven” and she “feels at home at the race track.” For now her goal is to become a better racer and become more experienced in the racing world, she would also like to bring home more wins. 

Jessica is strong in her faith and always puts God first. She looks up to driver Trevor Bayne. She admires the way that he stands up for his faith, and feels that he is not only her role model in racing but in life as well.  She also has many role models that she looks up to at her local race tracks. 
Recently Jessica had the opportunity to be on the new hit reality show "Kim of Queens".  It was episode 10, "Allisyn's Big Bet".  They try to find a diamond in the rough and transform them into a pageant queen.  She said, “It was a lot of fun, I loved that they filmed me at the race track.  It was a great experience and I feel very blessed for the opportunity.”

Racing is not only something that Jessica has a passion for, her family is also 100% committed to the sport. They are her biggest supporters. She is also very grateful for her fans and sponsors, especially her 2014 major sponsor, Athens Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.

To learn more about Jessica Still friend her on her Facebook page at "Jessica Still-Racing"

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Driver Spotlight: Randi Seguin

Driver Spotlight: Randi Seguin

Randi races in the 4 cylinder division at Barrie Speedway in Ontario Canada. It’s a paved oval track where last year she raced a mustang but this year she’ll be racing a Nissan 240sx.

This will be Randi’s fourth season of racing. She began competing in demolition derbies then with her father’s help she transitioned into stock car racing. She is very proud to say that last year she finished top ten in the point’s standings. This year she has her eyes set on finishing in the top five. Eventually she hopes to get into the late model division.

Randi didn’t let the fact that she knew little about racing and working on cars hold her back. She continues to learn driving skills and even works her on her own car. “I still have a lot to learn but I've got great people who are willing to teach. I believe to know your car you need to be hands on as much as possible”, she said. She is starting the season with a new stock car she has been working on and cannot wait to see what this racing season brings.

Follow her on Facebook at: Seguin Racing