Local Ladies Challenge New Smyrna Winter Nationals
By Arnie Frye
Alli Owens - Mini Stock racerNew Smyrna - There are 2 local ladies taking the big challenge at New Smyrna Speedway this year. One is only 15 years of age and the other only says over 21. Actually the younger has the most experience.
Both ladies say they love the sport and the feel of speed.
Young Alli Owens drives the #22 Mini Stock car and competed last night for the first time on asphalt. She calls South Daytona, Florida home and is the 15 year old. She began in racing at the age of 8 with BMX Bikes and ¼ midgets. Most of her racing has been done on dirt.
Her family is very involved and support her racing all the way. Mike Owen, her farther is her crew chief. Alli said, "Mom worries but gives me her support."
Alli said, "I plan to race here at New Smyrna, Orlando Speed World and the Florida Mini Stock Challenge this year".
Friday night after she started deep in the field in her first asphalt race and worked her way up to 9th when she was involved in an accident that ended her race for the night. Her crew was out today getting the parts to put the right front corner back together so that she can race tonight.
She is a very confidant young lady in her driving abilities. She shows no fear at all. She is very safety conscious and wears a Hutchinson Device to protect her head and neck from impact. Her car has all the latest safety equipment too. Dad sees to that.
She has several sponsors on her car including Quiznos Subs, Ideal Realty, John’s A/C and Auto Electrics, Signs on Time an Owen’s Carpet Cleaning.
Alli and her Dad say that they are planning to move up to USAR Hooter’s Pro Cup Series in 2005. Both of them think this is where she can really progress and show how good she really is.
Cynthia Strahley is the other lady behind the wheel from Eustus, Florida. She is campaigning in the Limited Late Model Division and is in her second year. She ran in 2002 and was second in the points in this division but then took a year off and is now back.
Cynthia will tell you with a big smile and even a laugh all about her racing. She said, "I love the sport. It is everything and I want to race forever."
Cynthia told me this afternoon, "I hope to run for the Rookie of the Year in the Good Year Late Model Series this year as well as running the New Smyrna Winter Challenge." She has 2 cars one for the local racing and one for the Good Year Late Model Series.
Strahley and her crew all said they could not do this with out the sponsors. Primary sponsor on the car is J.B Trojan Farms of Kansas. They raise registered polled Herefords which are grain fed and sold to other breeders for some of our best beef supplies in the country.
Sponsors make this sport happen and she is proud of all of those that are helping her out including 4 Boys Tire and Service, J&C Grade All Services and Vinyl Works.
Both of these ladies can talk racing all day long. They are not just pretty faces as I saw both working in and around their cars.
Believe me I have been around a lot of racers over the years and these two are on their way to the front. They know what they have to do to win and are ready for the challenge.
Cynthia said she would like to say a special thanks to her crew chief Brian Bellaw. Alli said to invite you all to her web site www.alliowens.com . They are both ready to race tonight and the rest of the 9 day series at New Smyrna Speedway.
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