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Mom, almost 50, gets the racing bug

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  • Mom, almost 50, gets the racing bug



    http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...s/13097581.htm

    Two weekends ago, Stafford, 49, swept three go-kart races at Michiana Raceway Park in South Bend, Ind. In the process, she beat her husband, Fred, a veteran go-kart competitor and off-road racer.
    "Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone, is life"
    ~ Sanskrit poem attributed to Kalidasa, "Salutation to the Dawn"


    Brian's Wish

  • #2
    If this were to somehow actually keep up, she could get more press than you-know-who...since who in the h*ll wouldn't root for her??
    THIS...IS...OPEN-WHEEL!!!

    Some people have religion. I happen to be one of them.


    "If grown men and women wish to take such risks, that is their own business."
    Ronald Reagan

    "Be intolerant: because some things are just plain stupid."

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    • #3
      Lyn St. James wasn't that much younger than that when she started in IndyCar.

      BTW - the most important thing, is she hot????

      What's the new Dr. Pepper commercial...i'm in love with Cici's Mom? I can't remember.....
      "We won a few races here and there, but the magic died the day Helmet melted." - Doc Austin on slotcar champion Michael Shannon

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      • #4
        BTW - Here is a Detroit Free Press Article of the same:


        MIKE BRUDENELL: Mom gets the racing bug

        Stafford collects first go-kart wins
        November 1, 2005







        BY MIKE BRUDENELL
        FREE PRESS COLUMNIST


        Charlene Stafford and Danica Patrick have little in common, except for one thing: Get in their way on the racetrack, and they'll punt you off course or hit you in the pits afterward.


        Stafford is approaching a half-century -- in years, not victories. Patrick is just 23 and has plenty of victories, although she has yet to win in the Indy Racing League.


        A mother of two, Stafford lives in Plymouth, where she sells real estate. Patrick, the first woman to lead a lap in the Indianapolis 500, resides in Phoenix, models for magazines when she's not racing and will marry Paul Hospenthal, a physical therapist and athletic trainer to the rich and famous, later this month.


        But, when it comes to sheer tenacity, Stafford is at least the equal of Patrick, who showed good fistic form this season. (Ask Jaques Lazier after their altercation at California last month.)


        Last weekend, Stafford, 49, swept three go-kart races at Michiana Raceway Park in South Bend, Ind. In the process, she beat her husband, Fred, a veteran go-kart competitor and off-road racer.


        And this hurts: Stafford, who started racing seriously only a year ago, thrashed your Free Press racing writer, whose ego and body were throbbing Monday morning.


        "I'm not expecting some NASCAR team to offer me a ride," Stafford said. "But I love racing, and I want more women to give it a shot."


        Stafford spent a little time behind the wheel 20 years ago, when her husband was an instructor at an anti-terrorist defensive driving school in Thompson, Conn. But not until she started competing regularly indoors at Kart2Kart in Sterling Heights about a year ago did the racing bug bit her. Now she can't get enough track time.


        Stafford thinks her high school basketball experience shaped her aggressive attitude on the racetrack.


        "We'd pull our opponents' hair and tug at their jerseys and pants," said Stafford, who attended Newmarket High in New Hampshire. "We were a pretty tough bunch. We had to be. Our team was called the Newmarket Mules."


        Stafford had never won a race on her own until Saturday. She had been part of winning teams in endurance racing events at Kart2Kart, but South Bend was her first individual victory.


        On a 12-turn course that hosted an international go-kart event just a few weeks ago, Stafford dominated a field of nine drivers, whose experience ranged from SCCA professional road racing to road rallying. In sweeping the field, Stafford passed her husband in the last race, in the last turn, on the second-to-last lap.


        "It hurt to overtake Fred -- but only for a fraction of a second," she said. "I'm still can't believe how good it feels to win."


        Stafford wasn't driving your state-fair bumper-type karts at South Bend. She was piloting a Yamaha-powered, Italian-made 100cc Birel sprint kart, capable of going 70 m.p.h.


        "Charlene's improvement has been dramatic," said Fred Stafford, a creative director for a Dearborn-based advertising company and former features editor of Motor Trend magazine. "But as the only girl growing up in a family of five brothers, she learned to compete early on. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised."


        Charlene, who said she roots for Patrick "to beat the boys" during the season, will race at Kart2Kart with Fred and daughter Kendra this winter and hopes to compete in some regional kart events around the Great Lakes area in the summer.


        "I love racing -- it's a blast," she said. "I want to challenge more women -- middle-aged women, like me -- to take it up. I went to South Bend hoping I could win. I did, and it's just an amazing feeling. I can't imagine how Danica will feel when she gets her first IRL victory, and she will."


        Contact MIKE BRUDENELL at 313-222-2115 or [email protected].
        "We won a few races here and there, but the magic died the day Helmet melted." - Doc Austin on slotcar champion Michael Shannon

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