Thursday, 23 March 2017

Ksenya Niks


Ksenya Niks is a Ukrainian driver who has raced in the European Touring Car Championship.

She is very unusual for a professional driver, in that she did not start racing until she was over 40, and had had children.

2012 was her debut year, and she raced in the Ukrainian Touring Car Cup. Her car was a Super 1600-spec Ford Fiesta, and she was sixth in the Touring Light class. Her best overall finishes were four fourth places, all achieved at the Chajka circuit in Ukraine, where the championship is based. She also travelled to Georgia in November, for the Rustavi International Challenge. Driving the Fiesta, she was second in two GT Unlimited races, earning a fastest lap in the second.

In only her second season of racing, she moved ip to the European Touring Car Championship.
Her car was a Ford Fiesta run by M-Sport, and she ran in the Super 1600 class.  Although she completed the whole season, she was not among the front-runners, and had to settle for ninth in her class, third in the women’s standings. Her best result was sixth, at Brno.

As well as her European commitments, Ksenya remained active in the Ukrainian series, in the Fiesta. She competed in the Touring Light and GT Open classes, and did well in the GT Open series, with six second places. Her best finish in the Touring class was fourth. She was second in the GT Open championship, and seventh in Touring Light.

Keeping with the international nature of her 2013 season, she raced some more in Georgia, sampling Legends, and the Georgian GT Unlimited championship. She was fifth in the two-litre Touring class in the Fiesta, with one overall sixth place.

She returned to the ETCC in 2014, and the Super 1600 Fiesta. Her track record improved, and she managed two third places, at Spa and Salzburg. She was fifth in Super 1600, and second in the Ladies' Trophy, behind her team-mate, Ulrike Krafft. The only real low point of her season was a DNF at the Slovakiaring, which meant she could not start the second race.

In the Ukrainian Touring Light series, she enjoyed a highly successful year, with two outright wins, three seconds and two third places. Had she done the whole championship, she could have won.

For a change, she raced Legends at Rustavi in Georgia in the spring. She was twelfth in the championship, with one fifth place in a heat as her best result.

Stepping back from ETCC competition, she came back to the Ukrainian GT Open Cup in 2015, for a part-season in the Fiesta. She had a best finish of second, achieved in two races at Chajka. Unfortunately, her two other races ended in non-finishes.

She travelled to Georgia once more, and raced in more Legends events there. Her best finish was fifth again, at Rustavi.

In 2016, she was back in the ETCC, driving a Ford Fiesta for Gena Autosport. She was fifth in the Super 1600 class, with a best finish of fifth, achieved three times at Magny-Cours and Vila Real. This time, she finished ahead of Ulrike Krafft, now driving for a different team. Her focus was solely on European competition this year.

Away from the circuits, Ksenya works as a lawyer. Her plans for 2017 are unclear.

(Image from http://sport.dozor.com.ua)

Friday, 17 March 2017

Laure Jaussaud


Laure in Monte Carlo

Laure Jaussaud is a French Tarmac specialist who has rallied in France since 2002, usually in a Renault Clio. She won the French ladies’ rally championship in 2007.

Her usual co-driver is her sister, Carine, and they are from a rallying family. For the first couple of years of her career, Laure had other female navigators sit beside her, but Carine started co-driving for her regularly in 2005. Previously, since 2000, she had co-driven for their father, Bernard. Laure has also sat beside her father on occasion.

Laure’s earliest rally outings were in a Renault Megane in 2002, when she entered the Vaison-la-Romaine Rally. By 2004, she had settled on a Renault Clio, a car she would use for the next eleven seasons.

For the first few years of her career, Laure stuck to local rallies, in or around her home département of Hautes-Alpes. In 2006, she scored her first top twenty finishes, two sixteenth places in the Venasque and Neige Hautes Alpes National rallies. The Hautes Alpes event also gave her her first class win, in N3.

In 2007, the sisters won the French ladies’ rally title, their first championship. They employed an all-female crew for at least some of the events. Laure’s best rally was probably the Mont Blanc-Morzine. She was 71st overall, and sixth in the F2 class.

Between 2008 and 2013, she went back to rallying locally, with varying degrees of success. Despite being a short competition season, 2013 was a good year for Laure, who was 20th in the Rallye National Hivernal des Hautes Alpes and 22nd in the Venasque National Rally.

The sisters broke the habit of a lifetime in 2014, abandoning the Clio for a Renault Twingo. One of their first events in the car, the Rallye National des Hautes Alpes, gave them a 20th place, second in class. This was a familiar rally for them, but a good result nevertheless, with 49 finishers, some in more powerful S2000 and N4 cars. The first rally Laure did in the Twingo was the Monte Carlo Rally, which she also finished. She was 33rd overall, against the WRC elite. She was also 32nd in the Rallye d’Antibes, with a second in the Coupe des Dames rankings and a class seventh. This was another competitive event, won by Brian Bouffier for the Hyundai works team.

2015 brought more WRC action in the Twingo. Laure was 60th on the Monte, out of 78 finishers. Later in the season, she did her first Tour de Corse, and was 75th, from 96 finishers. She missed out on the Coupe des Dames to Sophie Laurent, who was competing in another class. In between, she did the Rallye National du Laragnais, co-driven by Thomas Escartefigue. She was 23rd, and third in class.

Despite showing that she could hold her own in a World Championship rally, 2015 seems to have been Laure’s last year of competition. At the end of 2015, she was said to have been deciding whether to enter the Monte again, but she did not appear on the list.

(Image copyright Dailymotion)

Monday, 13 March 2017

Mette Kruuse



Mette Kruuse was a Danish driver, active in the 1960s and 1970s. She is most associated with the MkI Ford Escort.

Her career began when she attended a racing drivers’ school, some time in the late 1960s. She first appears in major competition in a Volvo P544, in 1968. That year, she competed in most of the Danish Touring Car Championship, the Roskilde rounds mainly. Using either the PV544, or a 122, she managed a couple of good places in the over-1300cc class. The best of these was a fifth, in the Roskilde Castrol Cup. As well as her home series, she also raced in Sweden, and was ninth in the Anderstorp Mixed-Race, in the P544, which was run by the Ellemann-Jakobsen team.  

In 1969, she carried on racing a Volvo, and had much the same schedule as her debut DTCC year. Her first appearance was in the fifth round at Jyllandsring, and she was driving a PV544. The next race, the Ceat Cup, also at Jyllandsring, gave her a further fifth place.

Again, she raced in Sweden as well as Denmark. She was ninth in the “PR for Men” race held at Anderstorp in June. Her car was a PV544 run by the Aarhus car club.

In 1970, she also made sporadic appearances in the DTCC, driving a Simca 1000 at Djursland, and the Volvo at the second Djursland meeting, later in the season. She was sixth in both races. The DTCC rules changed that year from Group 5 to Group 2 regulations, and the series was less popular. Once more, she represented the Aarhus club in Sweden, finishing seventh in the non-championship race at Anderstorp, in the PV544. She may also have been part of an Anderstorp round of the Swedish Touring Car Championship, in the same car, but she may not have started.

In 1971, she had her first outing in a 1600cc Escort, as part of the Castrol-funded works team with Aage Buch-Larsen. The Escort had proved to be one of the most competitive of cars, under the new rules. She held her own in the <1000cc 2="" and="" at="" class.="" class="" djursland.="" end="" fourth="" group="" had="" in="" of="" one="" place="" second="" she="" span="" the="" was="" year="">

At the beginning of the season, she also made a guest appearance in the British Saloon championship at Brands Hatch, driving a British Vita-run Escort. It was the one of the support events for the Race of Champions. Mette was sixteenth overall on aggregate, having finished twelfth and twentieth in her two races.

In a 1971 interview, Mette stated that she wanted to move into single-seater racing next. She seems to have tried this in 1972. She is listed as an entry in that year’s Danish Grand Prix, a Formula 3 race, driving a Brabham BT28, but she did not start. Driving for the Ellemann-Jakobsen team who had supported her in the Volvo, she was eighteenth in the first round of the Swedish F3 championship, driving a Brabham BT21. Further details of her single-seater activities are not forthcoming.

For 1973, details are also vague, although she was part of a Swedish-run Ford team, sponsored by STP. She is listed as a non-starter for two Grand Prix support races in Sweden, but does not appear on the entry lists for any other races, in Sweden or Denmark. STP certainly sponsored several other drivers in touring cars in Sweden that year, but the deal with Mette must have broken down. Her career seems to end here.

Despite the somewhat sketchy details of her actual racing career, there are quite a lot of pictures of Mette available; she was quite photogenic, and seems to be remembered fondly. After her retirement, she may have been involved with breeding pedigree dogs.

(Image from http://nostalgimacken.blogspot.co.uk/2010_09_01_archive.html)

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Juliette Slaughter


Juliette with the Kelly Girl Lola

Juliette Slaughter (née Scott-Gunn; also Brindley) was most famous for her Le Mans entry in 1978.

Her racing career began in 1970, as Juliette Scott-Gunn, after she inherited some money. There was some history of motorsport in her family; her father had the distinction of being a racing vicar at Brooklands. In 1971, she won the British Women Racing Drivers’ Club’s Helen Spence Trophy, for the best newcomer. She competed in Class C of the Castrol Production Saloon Championship in 1972, in a Ford Escort, scoring one class win at Brands Hatch. In August, she raced in the BWRDC’s “Fast Girls Ford Consul Challenge” at Brands, and was twelfth, out of seventeen drivers, after a spin. The winner of this event, Gillian Fortescue Thomas, was presented with a fur coat by Graham Hill.

She met her first husband, Andy Slaughter, on-track, when he drove into her car! They were both racing in Production Saloons at the time. Between 1972 and 1974, she concentrated on her career in personnel. At one point, she was part of Mark Thatcher’s management team.

When she returned in 1975 as Juliette Slaughter, she was involved in the sport both on and off the track. Her day job was in the press office at Brands Hatch, under the management of John and Angela Webb. The Webbs were skilled promoters, and Juliette gained a reputation is a marketing expert.

One of John Webb’s favourite marketing ploys was using female drivers to create media interest. He had trained up a “stable” of women racers, some from the world of celebrity, or other sports, who raced under his Shellsport banner. They became known as “the Charm School”, and were not always taken seriously. Although John Webb always had one eye on the promotional value of his drivers, he also believed in them as racers, and helped to launch the careers of Divina Galica and Desiré Wilson.

Shellsport acted as the sponsor for the BWRDC’s invitation Ford Escort one-make challenge. It began in 1974, and Juliette took part in two of the three races, with a best finish of second. This was achieved at her home track, Brands Hatch. The series ran as a championship proper in 1975, and she entered three of the four rounds. She was sixth twice, this time at Mallory Park and Snetterton. She managed another two second places at Brands in 1976, behind Divina Galica, but had the consolation of a joint fastest lap and class record in the second race. She set another lap record at Snetterton in 1977, in the same car, and was second in the race itself.

She was an enthusiastic member of the BWRDC. Their 40th anniversary book, Mary’s Girls, tells of her participation in a women’s Demolition Derby in 1975, and a humorous imaginary film called “The Bird Life of a Northamptonshire Village”, in which she was going to discuss “fashion on the grid”.

In 1977, Juliette mainly raced a Shellsport Renault 5 in the Production Saloon championship. She scored at least one fourth place, at a Christmas meeting, and won her class at Thruxton, leading to another BWRDC accolade, the Embassy Club Championship. That year, she was also announced as the second driver in Divina Galica’s Sports 2000 Lola T290. Reports suggest that she took part in at least one event in the car, which was sponsored by the Kelly Girl employment agency. This may have been down to Juliette’s own negotiation, as she had previous experience in the field, and was now a marketing manager at Brands Hatch.
The Lola was one of several cars she raced in 1978. The Renault was kept on for use in Production Saloons, and she also had the use of a Triumph TR7 for production sportscars.

Her biggest race of 1978 was undoubtedly Le Mans. She was driving a Kelly Girl-sponsored Lola T294S, with Ian Harrower and Brian Joscelyne. They suffered engine trouble and did not finish, only managing 61 laps. That said, all drivers had put in some respectable times, particularly considering the age of their car, and their lack of big-race experience.

The following year, Juliette drove a Porsche 924 in the Brands Hatch 6 Hours with Win Percy, and they won their class, finishing 22nd overall. Again, this was a strong performance in an underpowered car, which had proved hard to qualify.

At the same event in 1980, she was ninth with John Sheldon and John Brindley, in a Lola T492. They won the Sports 2000 class.

Away from the major races, and after her Le Mans outing, she accepted a drive from Gerry Marshall Racing in Production Saloons, driving a Triumph Dolomite, in 1979. Unfortunately, no results are forthcoming for this car/driver combination.

Later, she drove a VW Scirocco in the same championship. She finished on the Production Saloon podium six times during 1980, with a best finish of second. This included a drive in the Willhire 24 Hours, as part of a team that included Stirling Moss and Desiré Wilson, and was sponsored by the “mens’ magazine”, Mayfair. She continued with the Scirocco in 1981, when she teamed up with Tony Lanfranchi.

She retired in 1982 to pursue her business career, and other interests. For many years, she put her promotional and organising expertise to good use on the committees for various horse trials, having taken up riding.

Sadly, she died in 2012, at the age of 67, after an eleven-year battle with cancer.

(Image copyright Getty Images)

Friday, 3 March 2017

Women in NASCAR: the results


The 1977 Firecracker 400: l-r, Janet Guthrie, Lella Lombardi, Lee Petty, Christine Beckers, Louise Smith

Below is a list of all of the female drivers who have competed in NASCAR’s top-level competition of its time, currently known as the Monster Energy Cup. Read more about women in NASCAR here and here.

1949 (Strictly Stock, 8 races)

Sara Christian (Ford/Oldsmobile) - 13th (6 races)
Ethel Flock Mobley (Cadillac) - 52nd (2 races)
Louise Smith (Ford) - 63rd (3 races)

1950 (Grand National, 19 races)

Sara Christian (Ford) - 107th (1 race)
Louise Smith (Ford/Nash) - 109th (3 races)
Ann Bunselmeyer (Packard) - 126th (1 race)
Ann Chester (Plymouth) - unplaced (2 races)
Ann Slaasted (Lincoln) - unplaced (1 race)

1954 (Grand National, 37 races)

Marian “Mopsy” Pagan (Plymouth) - unplaced (1 race)

1965 (Grand National, 55 races)

Goldie Parsons (Oldsmobile) - unplaced (1 race)

1976 (Winston Cup, 30 races)

Janet Guthrie (Chevrolet) - unplaced (5 races)

1977 (Winston Cup, 30 races)

Janet Guthrie (Chevrolet) - 23rd (19 races)
Lella Lombardi (Chevrolet) - unplaced (1 race)
Christine Beckers (Ford) - unplaced (1 race)

1978 (Winston Cup, 30 races)

Janet Guthrie (Chevrolet/Buick) - 41st (7 races)

1980 (Winston Cup, 31 races)

Janet Guthrie (Chevrolet/Ford) - 69th (2 races)

1982 (Winston Cup, 30 races)

Robin McCall (Buick) - 74th (2 races)

1987 (Winston Cup, 29 races)

Patty Moise (Chevrolet) - 96th (1 race)

1988 (Winston Cup, 29 races)

Patty Moise (Buick) - 59th (2 races)

1989 (Winston Cup, 29 races)

Patty Moise (Buick) - 69th (2 races)

2001 (Winston Cup, 36 races)

Shawna Robinson (Ford) - 66th (1 race)

2002 (Winston Cup, 36 races)

Shawna Robinson (Dodge) - 52nd (7 races)

2012 (Sprint Cup, 36 races)

Danica Patrick (Chevrolet) - unplaced (10 races)

2013 (Sprint Cup, 36 races)

Danica Patrick (Chevrolet) - 27th (36 races)

2014 (Sprint Cup, 36 races)

Danica Patrick (Chevrolet) - 28th (36 races)

2015 (Sprint Cup, 36 races)

Danica Patrick (Chevrolet) - 24th (36 races)

2016 (Sprint Cup, 36 races)

Danica Patrick (Chevrolet) - 24th (36 races)

(Image source unknown)

Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Women of NASCAR: the 21st century


Natalie, Paige and Claire Decker

Below are profiles of some of the female NASCAR drivers who have tried to make their mark on the ovals, and began their careers after 2000. Earlier drivers can be found here.

Amber Balcaen - former sprintcar racer who is now working her way up the NASCAR ladder. She took part in the NASCAR Driver for Diversity in 2014 and 2016, as well as competing in Late Model racing in 2016. She was third in the Whelen All-American Series, with one win and six more podiums. She was the first Canadian female driver to win a NASCAR-sanctioned event. In 2017, she is racing in the NASCAR K&N Series, in a Toyota Camry.

Amber Cope - occasional racer in NASCAR and other stock-car series, always alongside her twin sister, Angela Cope. Between 2006 and 2008, she competed in three ARCA races in a Chevrolet. Since then, she has raced in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Nationwide series, averaging one race per season. In 2012, she finished 26th at Loudon, and got involved in a row with Kevin Harvick after he accused her of pushing him off the track. Prior to her NASCAR activities, she raced Late Model stock cars from the age of 15, and before that, karts, with some degree of success. She and Angela are also models, and use their profile to promote themselves as drivers.

Angela Cope - occasional racer in NASCAR and other stock-car series, always alongside her twin sister, Angela Cope. She has taken part in more races than Angela, due to her seven NASCAR Nationwide events in 2011 and 2012. Sadly, many of these ended in DNFs. Her best finish was in New Hampshire in 2011, where she was 25th. Prior to the Nationwide series, she did one race in the Camping World Truck series, and three ARCA events, between 2006 and 2010. Previously, she raced Late Models and karts, like her sister. She is the niece of Derrike Cope.

Sarah Cornett-Ching – Canadian driver who races in both ARCA and NASCAR junior series events. In 2015, she achieved five top-ten finishes in the ARCA Series, the best of these being two eighth places, at Talladega and Chicagoland. She was seventh in the championship. Driving the same Chevrolet, she has had less success in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, with two DNFs from three races. In 2011, she raced in the Canadian NASCAR series, and before that, in Sportsman events in Canada. In 2015, she was selected for the Race 101 team on a multi-year contract. Her 2016 season was partly spent in ARCA, where she earned a ninth place at Pocono, plus six other finishes from eight races. Again, she did not perform quite as well in the K&N Pro Series, with an eleventh at Mobile the best result from her five races.

Erin Crocker - took part in ARCA and Craftsman Truck races between 2005 and 2007. She was quite successful in ARCA in 2005, with a best finish of second and five top tens from six starts. After a couple of Busch Series outings, she moved full-time to Trucks in 2006. Unfortunately, she did not do as well, and was only 25th at the end of the year. She returned to ARCA and achieved one pole position, but could not convert it into a race result. Her NASCAR career ended badly after a series of allegations made against her team manager, who later became her husband. Prior to her stock car career, she was a multiple race winner in World of Outlaws sprintcar racing, and she made a low-key return to it in mid-2010.

Claire Decker - sister of Paige Decker, who also races in Craftsman Trucks. She took part in two races in 2016, driving for Jennifer Jo Cobb’s team, and finished one, at Martinsville. She was 27th. In June, she also attempted to qualify for the Iowa Xfinity race, but did not make the final cut. Paige was in action too, making them the second sister pairing to race against one another, after Amber and Angela Cope. Claire began, like her sister, by racing snowmobiles, and on short tracks.

Paige Decker - raced in Craftsman Trucks in 2015 and 2016. Both times, she entered the Martinsville rounds. Her best finish came in 2016, when she was 25th. That year, she also did two Xfinity Series races, at Iowa and Road America, finishing 31st both times. Previously, she raced in the Whelen All-American Series, and in short-track stock cars in 2010 and 2011. Her earliest motorsport experiences were racing snowmobiles, from the age of three. She is from a motorsport family, and has a sister, Claire, and a cousin, Natalie, who also race.

Gabi DiCarlo – began her stock car career in ARCA in 2007, driving a Ford. She did well in her first year of major competition, finishing eleventh in the championship. In 2008, she gained sponsorship from Great Clips, a hair salon chain, and raced a Chevrolet in the ARCA Series. She scored three top ten finishes, at Pocono and Kansas, the best of these being a ninth at Kansas. She was fourteenth overall. In 2009, she was approved to race in NASCAR-sanctioned events, and Stringer Motorsports contracted her for a seven-race deal in the Camping World Truck series. Unfortunately, her programme was cut to three races, early in the year. Her best finish was 19th, at California. For the rest of the year, the team ran her in selected ARCA races. Her best finish was eleventh, at Salem. After a part-season, she was 31st overall. She does not appear to have raced at all since then.

Maryeve Dufault - Canadian driver who switched to stock car racing full-time in 2011. She drove a Dodge Charger in the ARCA series, supported by Mad Croc and Dodge Motorsports. After seven top-twenty finishes, she was sixteenth overall, with a best finish of tenth at Chicagoland. She also secured entry into one NASCAR Nationwide race, at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. In 2012, she put together a budget for three ARCA races, driving a Dodge for Carter 2 Motorsports. She finished two of them, with a best result of 19th, at Kansas. In 2013, she drove in one NASCAR Nationwide Series race, finishing 31st, at Chicagoland. Previously, in 2010, she competed in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. Much earlier, she raced karts and snowmobiles, and motocross bikes. She is currently better-known as a model. In 2014, she did three Nationwide Series races for Team Stange, in a Ford. Her best finish was 17th, at Mobile. She did not race in 2015 or 2016.

Allison Duncan (Bormann) - has been working her way through the NASCAR ranks since 2003. Although she has shown considerable pace, and achieved top-five finishes, her big break has yet to come. Her early racing experiences were in sportscars, where she won SCCA championships in a Mazda RX7 and drove in the WGGTS. She was Daytona’s youngest female driver at the 2000 24-Hour race, aged eighteen, and she and her Chamberlain team-mates were sixth overall in their Dodge Viper. After that, she was co-opted into a NASCAR driver development programme, and subsequently, she has driven Craftsman Trucks and Late Model stock cars. Her best result in NASCAR is probably her fifth place in the NASCAR Late Model Division cahmpionship, which came in 2004. In 2005, she recorded two wins in this championship. She has not raced since 2006, and now works as a precision driving instructor.

Cassie Gannis – active in NASCAR-sanctioned events in the USA. Her first NASCAR outings were in the ACDelco Super Late Models series; at sixteen, she was the youngest driver to hold a full NASCAR competition license. After a break, she moved up to the K&N Pro Series in 2011, for three races. The best of these were at Colorado and Spokane, where she was sixteenth. In 2012, she did five races in her Ford, and was fifteenth in one, at Havasu. Although she was not able to mount any championship challenge, she was voted the “Most Popular Driver” in the series. Prior to this, she had been part of NASCAR’s much-vaunted “Drive For Diversity” programme. Another break from competition followed. Cassie entered the PEAK Stock Car Dream Challenge, attempting to win a race seat with Michael Waltrip’s team. She was a finalist, but did not win. In 2015, she tried to get her career going again, signing up for the Camping World Truck series with Mike Harmon Racing. Sadly, her one race with the team led to a non-qualification, at Phoenix. She picked up another ride in ARCA, with the Carter 2 team, but the same thing happened, at Daytona. She was linked to another Truck drive for 2016, but this appears to have fallen through.

Johanna Long - drove in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series in 2011. Her best finish was eleventh, at Texas Motor Speedway. In addition to this, she was raced in other Truck races at her home tracks of Five Flags and Mobile, with five top-ten finishes to her name: two fifths and three ninths. She made her NASCAR Truck debut in 2010 and earned three top-twenty positions, alongside a string of excellent results in regional series, in a truck and in a Late Model car. Previously, she raced Late Models, since the age of fifteen, and is the only woman to have won a Late Model race in her local series. She also won the 2010 Snowflake Derby off-season race. In 2012, she raced a Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. She managed a large proportion of the championship - 21 races - and had a best finish of twelfth. She was 20th in the championship. She continued with the ML Chevrolet in 2013, with another best finish of twelfth, plus a few more top-twenty positions. She was 23rd overall. At the end of the season, the team folded, and Johanna did not have enough sponsorship to continue in top-level stock car competition, despite a win in the Snowball Derby. She returned to Late Model competition locally, and was the points leader of her championship for much of the year. In 2015, she made a small comeback, taking part in one NASCAR Xfinity Series race, at Iowa. She was 27th. She also entered the Richmond race, but did not qualify.

Leilani Münter - has raced in NASCAR and the Indy Pro Series. She decided against a run in ARCA stock cars in favour of a part-season of the Pro Series in 2007. She only did two races, finishing thirteenth in Chicago and retiring at Kentucky, despite qualifying fifth. Previously, she had driven in the NASCAR local and development formulae since 2001. Out of 39 races, she finished in the top ten 19 times, and the top five, nine times. Her highest finish was fourth, at Texas Motor Speedway in 2004. Since 2007, she has been trying to put a programme together for the Indy Pro Series or ARCA. She is currently involved in an environmentally-friendly racing team effort, and returned to ARCA in September 2010. After taking a break and concentrating on environmental campaigning, she intended to compete for the whole ARCA series in 2012, in a Dodge Charger. Unfortunately, she only managed the first round, and was 36th. In 2014, she made a limited return to ARCA, beginning with a 28th place, at Daytona. She was driving an alternative-fuel car, and survived a crash early on. Later in the season, she managed two twelfth places, at Talladega and Kansas, driving a car promoting the orca protest film, Blackfish. In 2015, she did one race, the Daytona ARCA round. She qualified tenth, but crashed out.

Kenzie Ruston - raced in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East between 2013 and 2015. During this time, she did three full seasons, and scored top-five finishes on seven occasions. The best of these was a third at Greenville, in 2013. It was one of four top-five places, and Kenzie was sixth in the championship, in her Chevrolet. In 2014, she was ninth, and she did not do quite as well in 2015, in a Toyota. She did get into the top ten four times, the best of these being a sixth place at Smithton. In 2016, she returned to short-oval competition.

Kristi Schmitt - raced in NASCAR’s regional and entry-level series between 2001 and 2005. She raced in both the Southwest and Northwest series in 2001, starting three races overall, with a best finish of 18th, at Irwindale. She was fourteenth at Evergreen in 2002, driving a Chevrolet, but it was the only race she qualified for. 2004 was the last time she qualified, in the K&N West Series this time. She was fourteenth again, at Mesa Marin. She attempted to qualify for the same race in 2005, but did not make it.

(Image copyright espn.com)