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STS Pure Stock and E-Mod Champions


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Some of you may have seen this already on Facebook but want to share with the rest of you. Hope you enjoy the read and have to thank those involved in the story for their cooperation and joy to write up about them:

Racing has traditionally been a male dominated sport but one look around the pits at South Texas Speedway in Corpus Christi, Texas, and you can see the growing numbers of female drivers. You will also see a youth movement occurring at STS as several of those drivers is less than 20 years of age. Long gone are the days of females being put in Powder Puff races that featured woman drivers with little to no experience in a race car and often were very slow on the track. South Texas Speedway wrapped up the 2014 points season with two young women that shattered perceptions and earned the right to be called Champion, Jamie Sullivan claimed the E-Mod title as Alaina Smith was crowned Pure Stock Champion.

Family Tradition


Names like Mikulencak, Flanagan, Whiteaker, Heinaman, and Carlucci are synonymous with the South Texas racing scene. Sullivan and Smith are no different as racing is deeply rooted in family bloodlines. Jamie's father, John, was a long time racer in South Texas and Alaina says her racing roots were planted at a very young age as well.


According to her website (www.alainadracing.com), Alaina started racing motocross around age 3 and ran at tracks all over Texas until age 13. When she was 14, she wanted a car. Her story on how that desire came to life is quite entertaining and is one of the great things of our sport at this level. She was offered a ride along by former driver, Billy Denton and the seed was planted and grew from there. She began racing her own car at 14, finished fourth in the overall standings and was voted Rookie of the Year in 2012, won her first race in 2013 and culminated in a 2014 Championship.

And Sullivan was a fixture around STS before joining the go kart ranks. She explains, "I started racing go karts on a spur of the moment decision, I think my dad thought I wasn't going to like racing and figured it wouldn't be much of an investment. Unfortunately for him, racing seems to be in the family blood and I fell in love the second I drove onto the track the first time."


Sullivan worked her way through the go kart ranks and the Pure Stock her father, John, drove had a passenger seat and she would ride along. The creation of the E-Mod class came at an opportune time for Sullivan as she transitioned from go karts to E-Mod. We will talk more about the E-Mod later.

These young ladies not only drive their cars, they spend countless hours with their dads, Kenny and John respectively, working, prepping and repairing their cars. Both girls are not afraid to get dirty.


John Sullivan explains, "Jamie knows if she's not working on the car, its not going to race."


These two young women know the value of time invested in their race car and their fathers get to see the passion in both of their kids sharing a hobby they all love and putting in the work while spending valuable time together.


Sullivan cites her Uncle Alan Cole along with her father as the main people who work on the car.


"My dad John Sullivan and my Uncle Alan Cole have always been the people that work on the car whenever possible and always make sure I'm a tough competitor on the track. My dad works nonstop to help me succeed at everything I do and without him I would never have been able to accomplish all of the things I have."


Both fathers are very proud of their young daughters as they should be.


Celebrating Alaina's first win, Kenny boasts, "Last night was a great night! Alaina won her race and did a great job! The best thing was she gave me a big hug and said, 'I did it for you dad. Happy Fathers Day!'

Me and Robin (Alainas mother) are so proud of our little girl That is what it is all about - Family."

Putting Together a Championship Season


It is very hard not to notice Alaina's lime green car and several teammates out there with her. 2012 Champion Raymond Dibrell (8), 2013 Champion Jamie Dear (15D), and a few other green clad Pure Stocks regularly roar around the surface of South Texas Speedway. Alaina says it was a team formed from fierce competition, but come together based on similar beliefs and interests in racing. Smith confesses that most of the work is put in by herself and her dad, but the other members of The Green Team provide advice and input. Each member is highly competitive and they all want to be up front, but support each other fully.


Alaina claims the keys to winning a championship are dedication and the ability to listen and learn from the advice given. Race drivers are pretty good about helping the young guns when they ask and actually listen to what the veterans have to say." Smith adds, "Having good equipment and winning races are helpful in a championship season."

Sullivan says shes the only driver on the Sullivan Racing Team but she did get help from Rachui Racing Team this season along with several other drivers and teams. Racing is an amazing sport in the cooperation you get from competitors when you have their respect and drive these young ladies show.


This is exemplified when Jamie states, "Last years E Mod Champion Jerry Walters even offered me his car when I started experiencing motor troubles."


When asked about keys to winning a championship, she listed three main ingredients; consistency, poise, and fun.


"In my opinion, the key to winning a championship is simply consistency. As long as you finish every race the best you can, the points tend to follow. The thing you have to focus on the most is going back to driving basics when you learn to always keep a cool head, if you lose your cool on the track there tends to be a greater margin for error. All of this being said, you have to have fun with it; thats the whole point of racing, if you don't love what you're doing there's no use in doing it."

Pure Stocks/E Mods


Alaina races in a highly competitive, well-established class, the Pure Stocks. Most tracks in the country have a Pure Stock type class; its meant to be an entry level, affordable class to race so it is usually one with a high car count. She recognizes the competition level of the South Texas Speedway Pure Stocks. She says there is, a lot of competition and very talented drivers in this class. Its not unusual to see 20 or more cars racing against her.


"It is quite an accomplishment to be crowned champion in this class at any age, much less a high school student," Alaina said.

The E Mod class was formed two seasons ago and has steadily grown. Basically, an E Mod is a Sport Mod with a stock motor and stock suspension. Several go kart drivers have come up and used the E Mod as the transition from karts to full size cars as well as some veteran drivers rekindling that racing spirit.


Sullivan discussed the growth of the class. "I actually raced in the inaugural season for the E Mod class two years ago and there has been a drastic change in car count and overall competitiveness of the class. I was the first person, male or female, to win Rookie of the Year in the class, so being one of the first to win the championship is an incredible experience."



Now that the bar has been set high, I asked Alaina about being a role model for future female racers.


"Yes, I would love to be a role model for female racers. I think its great to see female racers in such a dominate male sport. Accessibility to the drivers is key to grassroots, Saturday night racing. I do get approached by fans in the pits; these fans most the time do not know its a girl racing until they come meet me. Then they are usually very surprised. I've met a lot of good loyal fans throughout my racing adventure." Smith said.


Smith is planning to move up to Street Stocks in 2015. "I'm very excited to race with a bunch of well known and talented drivers to hopefully make me a better driver. My future goal is to someday run sprint cars."

Sullivan was a little more subdued when asked about being a role model for future female drivers.


"Its a strange thought that I could be a role model as a seventeen year old girl. I just want girls to know that racing isnt just for the boys and I think Alaina and I have definitely shown that this year. I think all any girl wants is to be an equal among the boys, we just prefer to do it with more style!"


When asked about future plans Sullivan said she will be graduating in May from high school and plans to attend college and race when possible, but will sacrifice racing to reach her goals of becoming a teacher and chef.

These two young ladies may not be the first track champion (Karen Jack I know has a Pure Stock Championship), but they may be the youngest and probably the first two to win one in the same year.


The great thing at STS is the fact they have several young drivers, drivers under 20 and they know how to wheel their cars. There are also several other females racing out there as well. The youth movement and female rising is not confined to just South Texas Speedway as other tracks around the state have several female drivers in their ranks.


The future is very bright in several aspects for South Texas racing. Ms. Sullivan, you say all any girl wants is to be equal to the boys, I think that is mission accomplished. Congratulations to both of you on your Championship seasons.

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I can say i raced against a few females racers lisa sandoval mini champion .megan lestourgeon bomber champion ...pat johnson ...irene wilky....and never once did i consider them less than a man behind the wheel .i always looked at them as another driver i have to beat .though they were cuter than most of the guys ..lol...........i raced against the sullivan boys way back and glad to see the family tradition of racing and championship carry on ..alaina smith and her dad will have a great future in racing .both are fine folks and wish them and all female drivers the best .... you are all racers in my book you lock those belts on just like anyone else ......



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Yes HiTech we have seen several great female drivers here and more coming up through the ranks. I know Karen has won a championship, not sure if any of the others did, this story was two fold, not only female racers but very young female racers. I don't think two female champions have won in the same season at least at STS/CCS and in no way meant to exclude the others out there. I must say this about Jamie and Alaina, both are very well spoken and polite ladies. It was refreshing to see educated responses and not text speak like wut, u, etc. Very proud to have written this for them and they (and their families) deserve every good thing they get and their family pride.

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you did not leave anyone out ...just my reflection of some of the best lady drivers i knew and i left some out that were and are great drivers we lost to one at cts ...these two young ladies are leaving a foot print for the younger ladies to follow in the future. .and seeing how things have changed from the 80.s to now ..the future looks bright ......

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  • 3 weeks later...

This story has taken a little new life. These two "Gutsy and Inspiring" young ladies will be featured tonight at 6 and 10 on channel 10 news in the CC area. Thanks to Tessa for filming and doing the segment, Ken Hobbs for opening up the track for us, and special thanks to Alaina and her family, and Jamie and her family for all their help and willingness to share their story with us. Glad to see South Texas racing get some exposure and these ladies deserve the recognition as well as all our South Texas racers.

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I wrote the story, had a friend of mine pitch it and they ran with it. Think they did a really good job with it considering no one at that station had probably ever seen a race car in their life but it's a start and it's not a video of a bad wreck that resulted in injury and plagued with bad information. Hopefully this is a beginning to some media coverage and exposure. Caller Times did a pictorial at CCS earlier this year and now this story tonight, took the whole Sports section at 6 so it's a start.

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Look out nascar we have our very own young lady racers who have earned their respective positions as champions against some of toughest competitors around ,that is big in texas bigger than nascar , NASCAR you can keep shoving that no talent has to take her clothes off skimpy little nothing to brag about body mouthy little sissy of a so called look at me driver danica That i have never been impressed with and injoy your down fall together :huh: .we have ladies that can actually drive .

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