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- Blower Newsletter
March 20, 2022
We are continuing to introduce you to trailblazers, work horses, and speed demons who have left their marks on SCCA or are watchable role models for kids right now.
The daily posts are continuing on the SCCA Women on Track Facebook Page, and here’s a sneak peak of this week’s upcoming posts!
Along with her husband, Robin has been instrumental in getting a rallycross program going in their region. She was first introduced into the world of cars when she began dating her now fiancé, Dan Kelly, back in 2009. The stage rally, Sno*Drift, in 2010 was the first of countless future events.
She started attending events to help or watch friends, then started volunteered a couple of times, before getting behind the wheel for a handful of events. When Dan started up a rallycross program in the Milwaukee Region a few years back, she did what she could to help while pregnant with their daughter. As the program continues to grow, so does her level of support!
Now Aria, their four-year old, tags along to each Friday course set-up. When possible, she sticks around all weekend to assist when needed, often incorporating fun games and activities for kids at each event.
She hoes to get behind the wheel more this year and is excited to step out of her little bubble to meet awesome ladies in motorsports.
Sarah Herrick is a member of the Nebraska Region with memberships to the Salina, Kansas, and Wichita Regions. She became a member in 2011 when the Herricks upgraded Mike’s single membership since 1998 to a family membership. Mike is a longtime soloist, and when the boys became of age to drive Junior Karts, he was waiting with a kart ready for them. Connor and Mason competed, learned to build and repair their kart, and grew up SCCA. During the karting days, Sarah became a Youth Steward so that the boys could compete. She also helps out in timing and scoring. She is a very quiet person, so you’d have to look closely to see her at work supporting the sport and family. Today Connor and Mason share an SSC car at National events. At Nationals, Mason (aged 16) claimed the Championship title in SSC with Connor as the codriver. Sarah is always making sure the fellas have the tools they need to compete. This is a true SCCA family that has #funwithcars.
New England Region
Steward, SoloRly Registrar, TE/TT Driver Coach Spec, Certified Track Reviewer, etc
Kathy Barnes is a “Jack” of all trades in SCCA and the model of an ideal member. A 2014 SCCA Hall of Fame inductee, Kathy is well known to SCCA members in many different aspects of competition and is very well respected by her peers. In the Solo community, she has served as Chair of the Solo Events Board, Multi-time Chair of the Solo Nationals events, Chief of Workers for the Solo Nationals, Chair of the Solo Safety Committee and Multi-time Chief Steward for the Solo Nationals, as well as leadership roles in divisional and regional events. She has also served as Regional Executive for New England Region, one of the Club’s largest regions, and was Area 1 Director on the SCCA BOD. She has also served as a Steward, including the National Runoffs. Along with the Hall of Fame, Kathy’s award recognitions include The Solo Cup, the Solo program’s highest honor (2001) and the Woolf Barnato award (2004).
Kathy has also long been an advocate of attracting young people to SCCA, and was at the forefront in the development and acceptance of the Solo program’s Formula Junior program for drivers under 16. She also strongly supported the development of the Street Touring and Street Modified categories, which were designed to appeal to the young “tuner” crowd and have been valuable for helping keep SCCA relevant in the evolving auto enthusiast marketplace. She consistently involves herself in activities at all levels which reach out to younger individuals and get them involved in SCCA, mentoring them both as competitors and as volunteers. As a competitor, she has been a Solo National Champion 5 times, and now takes just as much joy in watching the younger generation achieve that goal as she ever did in doing well for herself.
“I joined SCCA as a volunteer when I was a college student who drove too fast on the street; not realizing I would be a contractor in my retirement. The club has given me many opportunities in autocross competition and development, region and club management, being a road racing official and in the Experiential Programs. While I am not competing so much now, I hope that my work as a mentor is what defines the rest of my time in SCCA. It is the people who join us and lead us and mentor us that define each of our experiences in SCCA. SCCA was my Title IX program. I found a place for competition when competitive sports were not available to me. In the club I found competition, friends and a family of choice and mentors who showed me the value of helping others enjoy our sport.”
Lone Star Region
Stephanie first tried autocross in 2011 and initially didn’t enjoy it. When she gave it another shot in 2013, she found that it was a blast dodging cones. Stephanie has received most of her enjoyment going fast in slow cars, running mostly Miatas and Civics in ES and STS. Later, she decided to upgrade to the beefy Civic Type R in DS in which she won her first National Championship in 2018. She loves how it digs out of the corners so well with the right suspension and tire combination.
When asked Stephanie’s favorite part of autocross she couldn’t name just one thing, but there was a theme—everything she mentioned involved the people she has met along the way, the friends she’s codriven with, and the novices she’s helped improve. It really does show that autocross is truly all about the people who you share it with.
Speaking of the amazing people you meet in the sport, Stephanie would not have made her runs at her first Nationals on day two if it wasn’t for a few great friends who noticed her car wasn’t in grid. She had no idea that day two started an hour earlier. After receiving a call during breakfast, she hurried over to the site while her friends got the car into grid for her. Without even a course walk that morning, she made it just in time to put her helmet on and make her runs.
If you haven’t discovered how selfless Stephanie is by now, this next story will solidify it. In July 2021, she was introduced to Layne Lindemann. Layne’s driving at the Bristol Tour impressed Stephanie. When the topic of Nationals came up, she was disappointed to hear that Layne wasn’t sure if she could make it happen. Not only did Stephanie offer her a seat in her car, she told her that all she had to worry about was getting there and she would help her out with the rest.
“For me, SCCA is friendship, human connection,” Stephanie said. “If I didn’t get into SCCA and go to tours out of state or Nationals, I would miss out on meeting awesome people.”
Photo Credit – Perry Bennett
Central Florida Region
Road Racing Pits/Grid, SCCA Women on Track Committee
Jennifer Schwartzott was raised in the racing garage. Daughter of SCCA Pro/Club racer, Peter Schwartzott, she remembers catching the racing bug at about 5 years old as she stood at a corner at Road America in the pouring rain, watching her dad race. After paying her dues in the garage and lots (and lots) of begging, Dad finally gave in and let her crew at around age 12. Under the guidance of legendary timers Judy Stropus and Anne Roeske, Jennifer found she was good at timing (old school stopwatches, pencils, and math; no computers) and spent race days as a teen on the timing box for sprints and 24-hour races. Her racing idols were Mario Andretti, Lyn St James, and Kat Teasdale. Just after she turned 18, Jennifer started working Pits & Grid and the rest is history. Her second race as a marshal was literally in her own backyard at the Niagara Falls Grand Prix in 1988. In the 1990s, she continued crewing for her dad and his many teams, and also worked Grid, under mentor Marion Henderson, and Paddock at Watkins Glen. In 1999, Jennifer moved to Florida and trained under her mentors Gloria Theen, at the Central Florida Region tracks, and Kathy Malek at World Challenge events. She has served as Chief of Pits for several Daytona 24-hour races, St Pete Grand Prix, and Sebring 12-hour races. She was the Co-Chief of Pits for the Runoffs at Daytona, Mid-Ohio, and Indianapolis. She has held a Nascar license for many years, FIA credentials at two Formula Electric races in New York City, and has worked the Pits and Grid for Indycar, World Challenge, Trans Am, IMSA, SVRA, and many other series. Behind the scenes, she crewed and managed teams for her father and brother and was Press Agent for long-time friend Randy Pobst until his retirement from full-time pro racing. Jennifer is on the Executive Committee for Women On Track, in charge of Volunteers and Officials. She continues to check off bucket list races and plans to change specialties to become a steward, and maybe try her hand at Rally or Autocross.
“SCCA to me means family,” Schwartzott said. “That may sound cheesy but it is true. This family started at home with my dad and his long-time crew buddies who were my aunts and uncles. They put up with a pain in the butt girl who loved racing more than her brother did. When I found my own way to the Grid and Pits, I found a new family who I now call my Band of Brothers and my Racing Sisters, and I consider them true family. With Women On Track, I am now able to pay it forward after having some amazing women as mentors. WOT is a very important program for the future of SCCA, and one that I am so appreciative to be a part of.”
New England Region
RallyCross & Solo
Besides being an amazing person, Steph is an amazing driver. She has been an accomplished SCCA Pro Solo competitor for many years, even winning a Driving Forward Together ProSolo Contingency in 2021. She also does Karoppi Reports from events. She added RallyCross to her resume a few years ago when a fellow competitor let her drive their car at a local event. She enjoyed it so much, she co-drove at the New England Region’s Rallysprints. That experience built her confidence enough to step up to a full stage rally and ran the New England Forest Rally in 2021. She has since bought and prepped her own VW Rabbit for stage rally.
Steph is always pumping up those around here and encouraging them. “SCCA allows me have fun with my cars and my friends,” Reeve said. “I have opportunites to push beyond my comfort zone at my own pace or with some gentle pushes from those around me., and it’s been great!”
NeOkla (Oklahoma) Region
Solo, Road Rally, RallyCross
Amanda Maize wasn’t the most outgoing participant, according to one nominator. Despite this, Amanda has made a big impact on her local NeOkla (Oklahoma) Region where she has been a co-chair with her husband for the past 5 years. Another nomination mentioned that she always makes new members feel welcome and has a great attitude. “If it weren’t for Amanda, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the sport we love,” they said.
Amanda shared that she enjoys every minute she gets to spend with people in the sport who have become like a second family to her. They help her grow, not only as a competitor, but as a person. Even if she doesn’t know you yet, she wants to share the joy of racing with newcomers.
Amanda has been autocrossing for approximately 12 years and has also raced various cars in rallycross and road rally. One of her favorite racecars was a 2003 “Bugeye” Subaru WRX. Even if it wasn’t competitive in its class, it was fast and a ton of fun. Another car she enjoyed was an Audi A3 that had heated seats, which she mentioned was great for those colder events. Nowadays, she’s racing a 2001 Mazda Miata and enjoys how agile it is while she’s behind the wheel. She says that those 30 to 45 seconds through a course are one of her favorite things about autocross, second only to all the relationships she’s formed with people in the sport.
Miss a round? Catch up now:
January 6, 2023
The year has only just begun, but believe it or not, the Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials National Tour Powered by Hagerty (TTNT) season is already underway. No, a 2023 […]