Trans Am driver Wright shattering stereotypes one lap at a time

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Trans-Am driver Wright shattering stereotypes one lap at a time

By Zach Tasker

trans am sebring photo credit: Nichol Henri

 

For 53 year old female racer Mary “Mickey” Wright, racing is part of who she is.  The Clearwater, Florida native currently races in the SCCA Trans-Am Series in a Corvette.  She isn’t your typical racer. While female racers are becoming more common in the sport, most drivers start racing at a very young age.  It isn’t out of the ordinary to see young kart racers starting at 6 or 7 years old.

However Mickey isn’t your typical racer “I always wanted to be a race car driver when I was a kid and when I was in my early 20’s I raced at Blue Island Raceway Park in Illinois and I was powder puff champion for a couple of years and I realized that for the kind of racing I want to do you need more and more money so I kind of got out of it and just worked and then got back into it in my mid 40’s. I took a finish line race school class, the Petty racing school in Las Vegas for a week and then I did another school with competition 101 in St. Pete. I thought I did well in the schools and I just kept on and continued on in the training.”

The Trans-Am Series is a highly competitive road racing series with stops across North America. Wright faces tough competition. “A lot of these guys now that I’m racing against in Trans-am, have been racing for 20-30 years. I’m happy that I can continue on doing it, you are always constantly learning to go faster.  I haven’t had any rivalries yet, I actually get along pretty good with everyone so far. I have raced a couple times in the Trans-Am 2 series last year, so I got to meet the guys who have been around for a while such as Tony Ave, Doug Patterson and I worked with Jim Derhaag, who is a veteran of the Trans Am series so it’s pretty cool and I’m enjoying myself.”

Wright is contesting her rookie season in one of American road racing’s most respected championships with the Derhaag Motorsports #6 Wright Track LLC Chevrolet Corvette.  “I love working with my new team. I get along with all of them; I want to make them proud. I know they work really hard and it’s just a matter of me getting comfortable and I’m getting more comfortable each time. Today (at Road Atlanta) I even noticed that something went wrong with my right rear, so I was able to come in. Yes everyone wants to be champion, but with this being my first year I just want to be able to finish every race. In all my races I have finished I have been 13th. I’d like to get up in the top 10, I’m happy to be where I’m at in my first year. Rome wasn’t built in a day and it takes time and I don’t want to push it to where I scare myself, anything can happen.”

Wright is a bit of an inspiration to people who say its too late to follow their dreams.  Although she raced in a powder puff stock class in her early 20’s , she didn’t seriously start competing until her mid 40’s. She is proof it’s never too late to chase a dream no matter your age or gender “If you want to get into racing I would tell people in their area to search for people that train or that will let you rent a car and make sure your money is being spent towards the racing and stuff like that. Start there and experiment, there are a lot of racing schools and a lot of people that I’ve seen more and more that rent cars out and that gives you a touch to see.”

The SCCA Trans-Am Series continues this Sunday June 1 at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey.  Wright is currently 12th in points and the 2nd highest rookie. You can follow her progress at gomickeygo.com

Tony Tellez

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