Women In Motorsports pt. 3

Season 1. Blog 10.

Welcome back Friend,

This is the third part in the series of “Women in Motorsports”. I wanted to introduce another set of established ladies that have been key members in the Motorsports industry behind the scenes, as Public Relations, Car Owners, Representatives (current and previous), etc.. I have hand selected 5 more Women in Motorsports to interview, and find out a little bit more about them and how they are involved in racing. The Women In Motorsports part 1 & 2, has been a huge success and I think this one will be no different and a great addition to this series! I had asked the same set of questions as before, such as the “How to get involved in racing, as a female, if you don’t have an opportunity to be in the driver’s seat”.  Read through these interviews and I can assure you, there’s more to the industry, than just racing a racecar. If you missed part 1, “Women In Motorsports” & “Women in Motorsports, part 2”, please catch up and read about 10 other amazing women in this industry and how they too, have helped contribute to this sport or made an impact on the Motorsport Community!

These women have been selected because they are behind the scenes of racing, and not always in the public eye, but have their own goals set to promote the sport we love in a positive way.  This is the exact reason, I felt it would be cool to get to know a few of them, as there are hundreds more in each small town or big town racing community!

Let’s meet some of the many women involved in the different compounds of the Motorsports community!

Women of Motorsports - Let’s get to meet them in no particular order…In part 3, of the “Women In Motorsports” blog series, we will get to know more about: Steph Linder, Courtney Wolf, Michaela Dumesny, Catherine Hogue, and Alyssa Rowe.

Steph Linder

 Follow Steph on Social Media.   Facebook  .   Twitter  . Attica Raceway Park’s   Twitter  .

Follow Steph on Social Media. Facebook. Twitter. Attica Raceway Park’s Twitter.

1.       How are you involved with the Motorsports Industry?

First and foremost, I am involved as a fan.  

I am blessed enough to be involved in a few other ways including social media work for Attica Raceway Park, The Dirt Classic (only during their shows at Attica) and Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame.  I recently stopped doing social media work for the FAST Series.

My husband (Mike Linder) and I have housed the 11n sprint car team for Ed Neumister the last 2 years.  We have had several drivers join us over the last 2 years including Dale Blaney, Craig Mintz, Carson Macedo, Cap Henry, DJ Netto, Christopher Bell, Gary Wright and Buddy Kofoid.

I have been involved may ways over the years from a fan in the stands, to helping my brother when he raced, to helping Michael when he raced, to selling tickets for a couple of tracks, selling 50/50 tickets, to handling pill draw/lineups, to taking care of getting shirts designed for a couple of events, to social media work.  Again, I have been blessed to have so many opportunities over the years to help in different ways.  

2.       Are you associated with a team, division, track, sponsor, etc.?

Currently with Ed Neumeister Racing (410 Sprint) and Attica Raceway Park

3.      How did you get involved in the Motorsports Industry? 

My family got into racing by chance when I was roughly 10. On the weekends we would go to the lake area or go camping.  When passing through Fremont (via the bypass) we would see the lights at the fairgrounds and became curious.  We would stop on occasion and watch from the fence.  Soon we were leaving the lake area earlier than usual to stop at the track, but still watching from the fence.  By the end of the summer we were skipping the lake and just going to the races.  We would sit in the grandstands near turn 4 and fell more in love with the sport with each lap. 

It was a short few years later, my brother bought a street stock and started racing.  He ran that division for many years before moving up to a 360 sprint, then a 410 sprint.  This was truly a family adventure!

Through the friendships made at the track I met my husband Michael.  We both have a passion for racing, but in different ways.  You would be hard pressed to find him sitting in the stands as a spectator where I miss the days of just being a fan.  Since his “retirement” as a driver, his passion is winning races in the shop and being prepared.

4.      How have you made an impact on the Motorsports Industry?

To be fair, I am not sure I have really made any sort of impact on the sport.  If I have, I certainly don’t know how or when that would have happened.

5.      What is your favorite racing related event to go to and what keeps you coming back? (Memories, atmosphere, food, racing, etc.)

I love the Brad Doty Classic at Attica Raceway Park.  The race is always exciting, the energy at the track between the pit area and the stands is amazing, but mostly I love this race because I am a Brad Doty fan.  


6.      How do you handle being a “female in a man’s world”? Is it easy? Have you ever been received differently, and how have you overcome the adversity of a “woman in motorsports”? 

I don’t see myself as a female in a man’s world. I am sure my thinking is different than many in that I don’t see racing as a man’s sport.  I see it as I get to hangout and have fun with the racing family.  I don’t feel I have ever been received differently, I am just one of the guys. 

 
7.      If you could give advice to any girl that wants to be like you or be involved in racing, what would you say to them?

I don’t think anyone wants to be like me, but my advice would be don’t get stuck in the mindset of being a “woman in a man’s sport” no matter what capacity you want to be involved.  Instead focus on the passion you have for the sport and use it the best way you know how.


Courtney Wolf

   Killer Mile Motorsports   photo. Follow Courtney on Social Media.   Facebook   .  and Instagram.

Killer Mile Motorsports photo. Follow Courtney on Social Media. Facebook. and Instagram.

Age: 11

Hometown: East Berlin, PA

1.       How are you involved with the Motorsports Industry?

I’m the 2018 Jr. Miss Racing Xtravaganza.

I’ve been attending races since I was 4 months old, but I got more involved with Motorsports 3 years ago when my Dad started helping Cody Fletcher on his 358 sprint car. The Fletcher family has been longtime family friends.  I have traveled with the Fletcher Racing team to the tracks we race at and being a part of a team is just something I fell in love with helping out whenever I can from loading tires and helping to load the cooler with drinks for the evening for the team, to scraping mud at the track, helping at the car wash, or unloading the trailer at the end of the night when we return to the shop.  Most of the time before being crowned 2018 Jr. Miss. Racing Xtravaganza, if I wasn’t in the pits, I was sitting in the stands watching all the racing action.

2. How have you made an impact on the Motorsports industry?

I’d like to think I have made an impact this year by representing the next generation of fans which is the future of our sport by being involved and being at the track at a young age.  I hope that I have shown that you can be in the pits and never too young to help out on a car, or by being present at the tracks.  I hope I have set an example to young fans that the drivers are very approachable and you can have meaningful conversations with the drivers and teams and to have shown by example to the racing industry that age doesn’t matter, as long as you are involved you can become a great ambassador to the sport, and be looked up to not only by kids, but by adults by knowing how to conduct yourself in such a fast paced surrounding. I hope my “Behind the Helmet” interviews have given an insight to everyone that also the drivers have a fun side to them as well, and by giving fans a behind the scenes look at the drivers on a personal level as well by having them answer questions that maybe fans wouldn’t have known about a driver they see every week on the track.

3. What is your favorite racing related event to go to and what keeps you coming back?

 Killer Mile Motorsports photo at The Dirt Track of Charlotte with Courtney Wolf. (I interviewed Courtney about 2 weeks prior to this post, and wanted to add this photo, from her trip to The Dirt Track, as she mentioned her trip.)

Killer Mile Motorsports photo at The Dirt Track of Charlotte with Courtney Wolf. (I interviewed Courtney about 2 weeks prior to this post, and wanted to add this photo, from her trip to The Dirt Track, as she mentioned her trip.)

I have to say that my favorite racing event in 2018 as Jr. Miss Racing Xtravaganza had to be PA Speed Week. 

Being able to attend 9 races at 7 tracks over 10 days was the most fun I think I’ve ever had.  It was so hot that week, but just being with the drivers, teams, their families, and fans every day just made it special for me to be there to support them through that tough 10 days of racing and being together so much really gave me a chance to get to know everyone even better. 

I’d also have to say being able to attend Summer Nationals and the National Open at Williams Grove, Eastern Storm & All Star Circuit of Champions at BAPS, as well at the World of Outlaw and the Dirt Classic races at Lincoln, along with Kevin Nouse’s, Mahoney’s Plumbing 358 Summer Series was pretty special too.  Being at Port Royal for the Tuscarora 50/World of Outlaws was fun, and I’m sure I will be adding World Finals in Charlotte, North Carolina to that list as well in a few weeks.  I have able to attend so many big events this year and got to meet so many drivers, teams and their families from many different divisions and from all over the country.   I’ve very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given this year.

Overall, racing is an adrenaline rush for me and being friends with so many people in the sport keeps me coming back!

4.      How do you handle being a “female in a man’s world”? Is it easy? Have you ever been received differently, and how have you overcome the adversity of a “woman in motorsports”?

I don’t view racing as just a man’s world or a man’s sport.  Take a walk through the pits at any track and you will see so many women involved in this sport.  You don’t have to be a man to help on a car, drive a race car, and most important, give support to a driver and team

5.      If you could give advice to any girl that wants to be like you or be involved in racing, what would you say to them?

The advice I would to any girl that would want to be Jr. Miss Racing Xtravaganza is to go for it and follow your dreams and make sure you enjoy racing because after all, you should attend a lot of races to support the drivers, teams, families, fans and our racing community.  I would also say to remember that no matter where you are, conduct yourself in a manner that will be respectful of your title.  Even if you are not at the track and don’t have your sash and crown on, someone may spot you & recognize you, and you ALWAYS want to be representing your title no matter where you are and what you are doing. 


Michaela Dumesny

 Follow Michaela on Social Media.   Facebook  .   Twitter  . and her   website.

Follow Michaela on Social Media. Facebook. Twitter. and her website.

Hometown: Nelson, NSW Australia;

Currently: Bloomington, Indiana

1. How are you involved with the Motorsports Industry?

I moved to the United States in 2016 to continuing pursuing my dream within motorsports, study at Indiana University and to be closer to my boyfriend, Kraig Kinser. I am currently in my 3rd year, studying a bachelors in Journalism with a concentration in Broadcast and a specialization in Public Relations. I am also studying with a minor of Marketing and a certificate in Motorsport Studies out of IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis).

Since 2015, I have been traveling with Kraig, on and off, while he raced with the World of Outlaws and All Stars.

In 2017, I became the Knoxville Nationals Queen in hope to become a Motorsports Ambassador.

This year, 2018, I was also a color commentator on a iRacing series called North West Focus Midget series driver search which gave competitors a chance to win a ride in an actual Focus Midget at Skagit, WA. Also this IndyCar season I was the social media coordinator intern at IndyCar Radio (IMS Radio Network) and over the summer I was a pit reporter during the USAC Indiana Sprint Week.

2.       Are you associated with a team, division, track, sponsor, etc.?

I’m associated with two teams; my family’s team back in Australia, Dumesny Racing and Steve Kinser Racing through Kraig.

3. How did you get involved in the Motorsports Industry?

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I became involved in the Motorsports industry through family. My grandfather and mum raced. While my dad, three brothers and my boyfriend still race. My parents actually met through racing. Once racing against each other and also as teammates in Australia and here in the United States. I also used to drive myself. I started racing junior sedans at the age of 15, progressing to wingless sprints and eventually sprint cars. Before racing, I used to work for my dad and help him manufacture his racing wheels and later on worked for him in sales, administration and designing. In 2015, I began Pit Reporting at my home track, Valvoline Raceway, which lead me here to the U.S.

4. How have you made an impact on the Motorsports Industry?

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I am honestly not sure if I have made any impacts on the sport yet, but I hope to one day.


5. What is your favorite racing related event to go to and what keeps you coming back?

The Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic in Warrnambool, Victoria Australia (Australia’s Knoxville Nationals) and the Knoxville Nationals. My favorite part is seeing everyone and catching up with friends that have become family over the years. The atmosphere is unlike anything else, sprint car racing provides such great, exciting racing with amazing supportive fans.


Catherine Hogue

Age: 26

   Nigel Kinrade Photography   photo. Keep up with Hendrick Motorsports, on their social media accounts.   Twitter  .   Facebook  . and   Website  .

Nigel Kinrade Photography photo. Keep up with Hendrick Motorsports, on their social media accounts. Twitter. Facebook. and Website.

Hometown: York, PA

Currently: Charlotte, NC

1. How are you involved with the Motorsports industry?

I currently serve as the social media coordinator for the 12-time NASCAR Cup Series championship team of Hendrick Motorsports. I’m wrapping up my third season with the team and my second in this particular role. I made the move from Pennsylvania to North Carolina after accepting a year-long digital internship with Hendrick Motorsports for the 2016 season. During that year, I aided the HendrickMotorsports.com content editor in writing, editing and publishing various website articles, photo galleries and media communications. I also trained under the social media coordinator at the time, helping with coverage of NASCAR Cup Series practices, qualifying sessions and races. After my internship concluded, I was offered a full-time position as the social media coordinator, where I handle the planning and day-to-day posting of content across all Hendrick Motorsports social media channels, specifically Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

2. Are you associated with a team, division, track, sponsor, etc.?

I work specifically for Hendrick Motorsports, which means covering aspects across all four of our Cup teams (9 – Chase Elliott; 24 – William Byron; 48 – Jimmie Johnson; and 88 – Alex Bowman) as well as our many corporate partners. Our social team works hand in hand not only with the social teams of our partners, but also driver management teams, NASCAR social and various track social teams to create, build and implement social media plans and initiatives.

3. How did you get involved in the Motorsports industry?

I grew up a NASCAR fan – my dad has been a fan ever since I can remember. He used to take me to Daytona 500 parties when I was younger and we would make yearly trips to Dover International Speedway to watch the NASCAR Truck Series races before he finally took me to my first Cup Series race there. As I grew up I drifted from the sport, but college was when I really became interested and invested in the local Central PA dirt track scene. My cousin, Austin Hogue, has been racing since we were about 8 years old (we’re three months apart in age) and in my freshman year of college – after Austin had taken a two-year hiatus from racing – he got involved in the 358 division. I remember going to his very first race at Trail-Way Speedway and sitting up in the stands wrapped up in blankets and dodging pelting mud balls to watch Austin race. I know it’s so cliché to say, but I was instantly hooked. From there on out, I went to the races I could throughout his first year, and then his second season in a 358 is when I really got involved on my own terms. I reached out to Area Auto Racing News, as a sophomore at Millersville University and was introduced to an open reporting position for Trail-Way and Lincoln Speedway. That began a four-year stint of covering local dirt track racing, with my coverage eventually broadening to encompass Williams Grove and then Susquehanna Speedway as well. Two years later I joined the Gettysburg Times as the dirt track reporter, all while keeping a blog of all my stories and sharing on social media. Ask any local sprint car fan, and they’ll tell you the amount of passion they have for the sport. I was no different. Besides just a pure love for sprint cars, the atmosphere of the local tracks and the community of people the sport brings together, being able to cover the races for the newspapers allowed me to bring two of my passions together while also getting to spend weekends with my family at the racetrack. My aunt took a photo once in our trailer at Trail-Way after Austin had won a 358 race. He’s sitting in the back, still in his firesuit, and I’m crouched down beside him with my notepad in one hand and a voice recorder in the other interviewing him for that night’s story, and to this day it’s one of my favorites because it shows he and I both pursuing our passion for sprint car racing, just in different capacities. It was the best way I could think of to spend every Friday and Saturday night. And my involvement in dirt track racing helped land me the internship at Hendrick Motorsports, which led to a full-time position working for a championship NASCAR team.

4. How have you made an impact on the Motorsports industry?

I was brought on at Hendrick Motorsports at a time when we were really aiming to put more of an emphasis on the importance of social media, not just within our own organization, but throughout the entire industry. I’ve been a part of some big events and initiatives throughout my time so far at Hendrick Motorsports, including Chase Elliott’s first Cup Series season, Jimmie Johnson’s record-tying seventh Cup Series championship, the announcement of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s retirement from driving full-time, the unveiling of Hendrick Motorsports’ brand-new 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1s last October, as well as the signing of two new drivers, William Byron and Alex Bowman. As far as my time covering sprint car racing back home, I’d like to think I made some sort of impact. I remember my first few times covering at Lincoln Speedway and I was so intimidated to walk up to drivers’ trailers and ask for interviews – especially being a female on a pit road that was predominately male – so, I would awkwardly stand to the side of the ramp and patiently wait until they walked out or until I could make some sort of eye contact and introduce myself. But the great thing about the Central PA sprint car community is that once you’re a part of it, you’re family. Covering the races allowed me to get to know the drivers across the various series so that when they saw me walk up, they knew why I was there and they greeted me with smiles. It allowed me to build lasting friendships. When I was brought on at the Gettysburg Times, they had gone a few years without covering a sport that was literally right in their backyard, so it was really fun for me to be able to bring that back for our readers.

5. What is your favorite racing related event to go to and what keeps you coming back?

Naturally, I love any sprint car race. That was one of the toughest things to adjust to when I moved to Charlotte. Austin was still racing 410s full-time and I went through major withdrawal from not being able to be at the track every weekend. So, of course, I head over to the dirt track when the Outlaws are in town in May and for the World Finals. I would say the World Finals are probably my favorite racing event of the year. Even before I moved to Charlotte we would road trip down for the weekend to watch. It’s such a big event and with it being the last of the season, the World of Outlaws and the Dirt Track at Charlotte just do a wonderful job of putting on a show for the fans. Regardless of what race it is, I think it’s the excitement and adrenaline of open-wheel racing as well as the atmosphere and the community that really create that overall dirt track experience. And for me, it’s family; it’s winning together, losing together – it’s experiencing it all together that I really love. Since living in the NASCAR world for the past three years, I would have to say my favorite race I’ve been a part of was Jimmie’s 2016 Charlotte win in the fall, which propelled him to the next round of the playoffs and ultimately, the championship that year. I have a photo from Victory Lane that day, which is pretty special. I’ve had so many wonderful experiences since working at Hendrick Motorsports that I wouldn’t have been able to experience anywhere else, so I’m extremely blessed and thankful to be a part of this organization and this industry.


Alyssa Rowe

1. How are you involved with the Motorsports industry?

 Please follow Alyssa on social media.  Facebook .  Instagram . and Her   Website  .

Please follow Alyssa on social media. Facebook. Instagram. and Her Website.

I am involved with the Motorsports industry in a few ways: I drive a racecar, work on a racecar, do all the advertising and promoting for my team and sponsors. I am the President of a non-profit organization called "Firesuits With Santa" that helps to involve the raising community in helping to raise money and collect toys for families in need around Christmas time, and I'm also a member of the Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown.

2. Are you associated with a team, division, track, sponsor, etc.?

I am the driver of my racing team and help to promote any tracks or series that I run, my sponsors, and my team.

3. How did you get involved in the Motorsports industry?

I got involved with racing through my dad. He raced for over 40 years and I've been going to the races since I was about 2 years old. I started racing when I was 9 in go karts and progressively moved up through 600 micros, modifieds, and now a limited late model.

4. How have you made an impact on the Motorsports industry?

I think I have made a huge impact in our area for women in Motorsports. When I was growing up, I got a lot of negative feedback and a lot of disrespect from drivers that I raced with, or people that just didn't think women belonged in a race car. More and more girls are moving into the modified division, and more and more females are getting interested in the sport. I have tried to really make a difference and make myself the best driver, crew member, and advertiser that I can be. I feel like I work my butt off to be able to do what I do, and I know my sponsors work hard for us too. I have been named the first female to win a championship at Bedford Speedway, the first female to win a modified event at Winchester Speedway and one of the first females to race with the UMP modifieds and the Mason Dixon Limited Late Model Series.

5. What is your favorite racing related event to go to and what keeps you coming back?

I love the World Short Track Championships at Charlotte just because of the prestigue of being able to race at Charlotte. It's also a really fun weekend where we get to see a lot of people we don't get to race with full time. I also really like the Frank Sagi memorial at Hagerstown Speedway because it's in remembrance of a great man. The atmosphere is amazing. So many legends, so many great people there to remember him and celebrate his life. Eldora is another one of my favorites (they don't have the race that I enjoyed the most - Fall Nationals) but I love their food, the atmosphere and the facility.

6. How do you handle being a “female in a man’s world”? Is it easy? Have you ever been received differently, and how have you overcome the adversity of a “woman in Motorsports”?

It was really hard for a long time trying to handle being a woman in a man's world. It wasn't easy. It was one of the hardest things I've every ad to do. It took me a long time to gain the respect of my competitors and moving into a new division this year, I'm going to have to do it all over again. Point blank - men don’t want to be beat by a female. It's sad. We are viewed differently .They race us harder than anybody else on the track. It sucks, but boy does it feel good when we whoop their butts. I went to a seminar at PRI this past year with Pippa Mann and she made a really good point and it made a HUGE impact on me this year. She never wanted anybody to know she was a girl because she knew she would be treated differently. She wanted any color than pink or purple. She tried to hide her gender as much as possibly just to be treated right, on and off the track. Eventually she got tired of it and realized it wasn't right. She now has a pink race car, a pink suit and a pink helmet. If they push you, you push back 10x harder, and that's the way you have to look at it.

7. If you could give advice to any girl that wants to be like you or be involved in racing, what would you say to them?

The best advice I could ever give a girl involved in racing is to never, ever give up. This will be the hardest you will ever have to push your body, your mind, and your equipment. Every time you're on the track, improve yourself. Don't ever listen to the negative comments, unless you let it fuel your fire and motivate you. You are coming into this world as a stranger, and make it known that you aren't playing any games. Gain the respect of your competitors and never, ever let anybody take away the passion for this sport. You only get better when it's hard. Follow your DREAM and make a difference.


Please come back next Wednesday, November 14th, for my final part 4, Women In Motorsports.