The 2011 auto racing season has been one filled with exciting opportunities and challenges for 20-year-old Sarah Cornett-Ching of Summerland.
It began with the Race 101 program in North Carolina in January and has taken her through the full season in the OK Tire ARCA West Series, and her first career win in the West Coast Sportsman Series.
The productive season produced four top five finishes and nine top 10 finishes in 12 races, including two podium finishes and a victory at Motoplex Speedway on Aug. 13.
Cornett-Ching competed at five new race tracks this season, and adapted quickly at each of them.
The final race of the season took place at Motoplex Speedway at the end of September in the OK Tire ARCA Series and Cornett-Ching had the dominant car early in the race.
At one point in the race, she had built up a full straightaway lead, but a series of restarts with Cornett-Ching on the outside lane caused her to burn up her right rear tire and she settled for a third place finish.
“Our car started out very fast and I wasn’t pushing it very hard to stay up front,” said Cornett-Ching.
“I was thinking we would save the car and pick it up towards the end of the race. Unfortunately, a competitor blew their motor, and the track was covered in speedy-dry. We had three restarts in a row where we were stuck in the outside groove and I burned up the right rear tire trying to keep up. After that we had to battle just to stay in the top three”.
With the 2011 season now over, Cornett-Ching looks forward to returning to North Carolina to complete the Race 101 program where the class will clip and set up the front end of a Howe Chassis.
Cornett-Ching will also get an opportunity to drive a Race 101 prepared Late Model at the famed Hickory Motor Speedway in Hickory, North Carolina.
Cornett-Ching has big plans for the 2012 season, and wherever she races, she hopes to continue to win over the fans.
“We had a lot of fun this season and have met some great people in this sport along the way.” said Cornett-Ching.
“Whether we are back in the ARCA Series full time, or move on to something else, I am very thankful for our sponsors, family, friends and fans that have been along for the ride this season.”
The team is looking for marketing partners for her race team, and hopes to secure funding for a full time ride in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series next year.
To contact Cornett-Ching, send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 2005, Cornett-Ching has racked up a pile of awards, including Most Aspiring driver as well as Champion in her division that year.
Two years later, after moving up a class, she claimed the championship again.
In 2008 she claimed her first ever top five finish in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series, and the following year she finished third overall in the series points standings.
In addition to her third place in points, she also claimed awards for Most Improved driver, Most Dedicated to the Sport and West Coast Sportsman Rookie of the Year Award.
Last season she claimed fifth place in points in both the Okanagan Street Stock Series and the West Coast Sportsman Series.
She was also named Most Improved Driver and Most Dedicated Driver of the West Coast Sportsman Series. She plans to run the full ARCA West Regional traveling Series this season.