AlliOwens

Alli Owens Female Race Car Driver, Mom, Wife>

Alli Owens joined Venturini Motorsports in 2010, she made nine starts in the ARCA Series, achieving three top-15s and one top 10 finish.

With a little help from her friends, was able to attempt her first NASCAR race at her home track, the Daytona International Speedway during Speedweeks. Owens, who lost primary sponsorship at the end of the 2010 season, asked local companies and her friends, via Facebook and Twitter, to help raise the $35,000 needed to compete in the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event. The outpouring was tremendous. Owens raised enough funding to field a truck and attempt the Next Era Energy Resources 250.

Following Daytona, Owens took timeout for her family. She married her boyfriend and gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Now settled in as a wife and mother, Owens is ready to return to competitive racing. She aims to return to driving in a national touring series. Owens is currently seeking funding to continue her promising career.

Who have you mentored who did someone mentor you in this industry to help you get started?
When I was first getting started I really didn’t know much about the sport and looked for advice anywhere I could. Unfortunately the diversity concept hadn’t sunk into the short tracks of Florida yet, instead of getting help and guidance, I got a lot of harsh negativity from other drivers. I then began to look further up the food chain in motorsports and began to quickly idolize the NASCAR greats such as Mark Martin, Dale Earnheart, and Jeff Gordon. I tried to find qualities in each of them that I could apply to myself. As I began to become a respected face in this sport I had a lot of younger drivers turn to me for advice and encouragement. I work with boys and girls in quarter midgets all the way up to Late Models. I found helping them and being a person they could turn to learn from my journey, that I would keep striving to better myself as a person and driver.
 
As a woman what features are your favorites in a car?
For a daily driver I am more of a truck kind of girl. I look for the suspension packages, tires and wheels, exhaust and most importantly like every women I go crazy when it comes to color combos and interior gadgets. MUST HAVE A GPS! (I’m used to only making left turns remember!)

When it comes to my race cars I think the woman in me comes out a lot because I am picky about my gauges as far as what color the face plates are. I am a nut for a specific shifter angle and knob. I like things in there to big very neat and clean!
 
Why does the auto industry seem like a difficult environment for females?
Because of MEN! Just kidding! I think it’s because it was an industry that was dominated by men for such a long time. My theory is kind of like the remote control situation. If you grab the remote off the couch while your husband is watching football or something and you change it to a “chick channel” real quick to see what is on, it’s most likely that your husband is looking at you like he is in the middle of a massive heart attack or about to have a nervous break down. I think the auto industry is like that because men think we are coming into “change” it. When in all reality all we want is more like the “sharing of the closet” situation. We are not trying to take it over and rearrange the way they have things. We just want to “organize it” and share it with them. Either way the more and more woman enter the industry the more I feel the comfort level for a female will soon be a lot better.
 
Why did you want to work in the auto industry?
I wanted to be a part of this industry because it’s something that I have always been drawn to even as a little kid. When I was six months old my grandparents would strap me onto my little Sweet Pea Powerwheels four wheeler. Then at 3 years old I drove around in my Barbie car and I always wanted to ride the go karts when we would go to an amusement park. I played with Hot Wheels instead of barbies. By the time I was old enough to make decisions on what I wanted to do, I always chose the option where there was a motorized something involved. When I started racing cars that was the end of the story. I was hooked and always will be.
 
First automotive job?
I worked at FinishLine Racing School as a mechanic and shop hand. I was only 14 years old and was in charge of pulling motors out, creating set of tires, and nut and bolt check on all the race cars before they were taken to the track. When the schools were in session at the track I was in charge of changing tires and fueling the cars in between students. I enjoyed working there because I learned a lot about the mechanics of a race car and not just driving.
 
Proudest professional achievement?
I would definitely say when I was 17 and secured a four year sponsorship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractor Association. I worked so hard on building a marketing packet and trying to learn how to be a marketable teenager to a construction industry. I walked into the meeting all by myself and sold it. I’ve never been more proud in my career than that moment.
 
Current challenge at work?
Trying to convince the motorsports world that just because I decided to start a family in 2011 doesn’t mean I don’t want to race anymore and just because I am mom doesn’t mean I can’t drive just as good as the guys. Finding sponsorship is the most challenging part of this whole situation at the moment, but I feel if a team would just stop and look at the marketing opportunity with a female driver and a new mom, I think sponsorship would be easier to capture. It seems like the industry looks at me like “I’m just a mom” instead of the empowering woman they branded me as when I was racing full time.
 
Dream job?
Being able to race full time in one of NASCAR’s top three series and being a mommy. I got the mommy part down now I just need to keep chasing that NASCAR dream and I will be all set!
 
What you do to relax?
Relax, what does that word mean again? (Ha-Ha). After having a baby relaxing is just being able to take a 10 minute shower or a power nap mid afternoon! I am one to go get a pedicure and my hair done when I get a chance. I also am a wine-o! So if I can enjoy a glass of wine once in a while I am a happy girl. Life changes if your a mom and dream chaser. I am usually changing a diaper, feeding the baby, burping the baby, or rocking the baby while having the phone on speaker while talking budgets or sponsor ideas.