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SHORT TRACKS

GENDER LEADING STRIDE IN DIVERSITY

NASCAR Royalty, does it exist? His name is, Richard Petty, and he is the, KING! Yet is there a Queen? It seems Stockcar Racing Fans are ready for a queen, as we see a movement unlike any-other our sport has ever seen.

When the 1999 Winston West Series (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West) Champion, Sean Woodside was growing up at a small short track on the west coast, it wasn't just his Father, Larry racing on Saturday Nights, his Mother, Pamm Woodside was racing as well.

So with some math, Sean's Mom was racing stock cars in the 1980's! At the turn of the century there was a group paving the way for young, up and coming female racers, Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing, Shawna Robinson, Erin Crocker Evernham, and the list goes on. And yet I witnessed some struggles and animosity towards women racers more at the higher level than at the short tracks.

NASCAR saw the likes of Danica Patrick with Leilani M√ľnter by her side, in marketing campaigns at a high National level with not just these two, but Danica Patrick, Leilani Munter and Melanie Troxel all appeared on Special Hostess Race Divas Packaging. Yet, as Danica and Leilani were on the track and in the spotlight over the past several years, as in Soccer, the young girls had, Mia Hamm glistening in the eyes, short tracks have had young female racers preparing to become, NASCAR's Queen!

By now most have heard the name, Natalie Decker, but if not, you will. The young female racer from, Wisconsin is making a name for herself with one of the top teams in the, ARCA RACING SERIES (Recently Acquired by NASCAR), at Venturini Motorsports, becoming a teammate to Leilani.
But who has been watching Natalie... Oh so many, and one I have had the pleasure of watching wheel her USAC Midget around tracks on the west coast is, Toni Breidinger Racing. Toni has now joined the, Venturini Motorsports Team, bring the team to be the only modern team to house three female drivers on their roster.

But wait... who has been watching, Toni... Well, Chloe Lynch for one. Chloe has less than a year under her belt and has already calculated many Podium Finishes, including the Top Spot and is in a National points battle with drivers whom have been racing for years. Who's watching Chloe... Young Lexi, that's who... Female racers setting examples, paving the way and inspiring each other along the way.

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