Women Who Race Series - Featuring Kendra Adams
Track Attack is excited to announce the launch of a new blog series ‘Women Who Race’, which will feature awesome women who are pursuing their dreams and paving the way for the next generation. The first woman we are highlighting is recent high school graduate, Kendra Adams, a NASCAR Racer from Bradford, Ontario. She shares her recipie for success in the racing world and what has helped her improve her driving. We are not surprised that youngsters who watch her race are awestruck. We were impressed by her humility, eagerness to learn and all-around fierceness. If you know women we should highlight, please let us know! #womenwhorace
Who: Kendra Adams
What: NASCAR Late- Model Division Driver on Sunset Track in Innissil, Ontario
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D’Laina: “Please introduce yourself”: Kendra: “Hi, I’m Kendra Adams, I am 17 years old from Bradford, Ontario and am currently in my 5th year of racing. I started racing in the Mini Stock Division, and then after three years advanced into the Super Stock Division, I am now racing in my rookie year in the Late Model Division at Sunset Speedway, which is a NASCAR Sanctioned track.
D’Laina: “How did you initially start racing?” Kendra: “My dad was a racer while I was growing up, and even after he stopped racing when I was five, we were constantly around the track. We were still hanging around and when it suddenly hit me ‘Wow, this is what I want to do’. I was 13 and I somehow convinced my parents to allow me to start racing with 4-cylinder cars.”
DLaina: “What are your goals this year?” Kendra: “We have a ton of talent at my home track and a high car count in each division. Being in my rookie year one of my biggest goals was just to finish every race and I have so far achieved this goal. This was a concern for me because I just moved up into a higher division. The higher you move up the more competitive the racing becomes. In addition to three top 10s, I am also learning so much and couldn’t be happier with what I’ve been able to do this year.
D’Laina: “How do you work on your skills and improve your driving?” Kendra: “A lot of learning comes from trial and error between what I am doing, how the car is driving and the set-up of the car. This car is so different from the previous cars I have raced, so I have spent a good amount of time getting used to it. A big part of racing is learning about your car and how the changes you make to the set-up affects your driving. I strive to provide valuable feedback to my crew to allow them to make the best adjustments.”
In addition, talking with other drivers about their experience helps us prepare for our next race. We all bounce ideas and tips off of one another and are eager to see each other improve. Often times, I thought I was driving one way in race or practice, but in reality, they recorded me doing something else. This feedback has definitely helped my racing overall.
D’Laina: “Anything else that has helped you improve?” Kendra: Mainly I use track times to assess my driving, but I also have a TV show on Rogers TV, “Kendra Adams: Life In The Fast Lane”, where I am filmed every week. When I get that footage back it helps uncovers some of my blind spots. I think I am stacking up pretty well, but when I view the footage I am able to see where I can make big improvements.”
D’Laina: “What is it like for you to be one of the few women drivers?” Kendra: “I don’t view being one of the only female racers as an advantage or disadvantage. However, I do believe I have been treated sub par because of my young age. I am one of the youngest racers and have seen people treat me differently, sometimes, because they assume I am not as experienced. But I believe that everyone needs to start somewhere. It can take years to get into the division that I am in and some people think that it’s not fair that I am in that division at my age. I believe that if you are holding your own and not in everyone’s way - you should be allowed to race.
D’Laina: “What do you think is the biggest hurdle for women to get into racing?” Kendra: “A lot of women don’t get into racing because it is a male-dominated sport. It is unfortunate that more women don’t race because many are just as good and can often be more skilled than some men. Racing is a sport where you can fairly compete against men. Although it is physical, it’s not in the same way as other sports and allows females to compete on an even playing field.
D’Laina: “So, you have the double whammy – young and female” Kendra: “Yes! Younger drivers face a lot of adversity because they are so young. I heard from some people that I am not deserving or didn’t work for it. People don’t treat me differently per-se, but I have heard from some people that I am not deserving or that I didn’t work for it. Other examples are people commenting that ‘you only raced in the Super Stocked Division for one year – you should stay there rather than moving up’. Admittingly I have received a lot of help from my sponsors and my parents but that doesn’t mean that I am not deserving. People don’t want to believe in you until you prove yourself.”
D’Laina: “What’s it like to inspire kids at the race track?” Kendra: “It is very inspiring to motivate the next generation and this makes me love what I do even more. I often see parents push their kids towards me and I love spending time with them. I don’t take the role of model lightly and I try my best to encourage them. I want the next generation to know that they can race and that being a race car driver is an attainable dream!”
D’Laina: “What do you think have been your secrets to success?” Kendra: “My dedication to the sport and drive has helped me succeed. A lot of people compete in the lower divisions because it’s cheaper and can be just as fun. I have worked hard to obtain and maintain relationships with my sponsors and that has been a big component of my accomplishments. If it wasn’t for my sponsors I wouldn’t be in division I am.”
D’Laina: “What do you wish people knew about racing? Kendra: “I wish everyone knew that racing isn’t as easy as everyone thinks it is. Racing is very complicated and carries over into so many areas including social media, business, and marketing. These components come together to make up the recipe of racing success. Racing is super fun – but I wish people knew that it isn’t just how fast you can go around a track.
Thank you, Kendra for sharing your story with us. We’re cheering you on and can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the future.
Check out her racing at the July 23rd, 2016 Super Stock Feature Race at Sunset Speedway.