Shantel Kalika makes her return to her home track as one of the drivers in the annual NASCAR Pinty’s Series event on Wednesday.
Kalika is from Prince Albert, Sask., and started her racing career nine years ago at Wyant Group Raceway.
Lucky passengers ride along with NASCAR legend at Wyant Group Raceway
“Raced there for my whole racing career so far. I won the pro track championship in 2016 and then in 2018 I actually ended up winning the Sportsman championship as well as the rookie of the year,” she said.
“Saskatoon is … my home track and it’s near and dear to my heart and I know my way around there.”
Now in her second year on the circuit, Kalika is aware of all the other things that need to be done to drive and lead a race team at this level.
“It’s a lot to manage Facebook and social media and Twitter,” she said on Tuesday. “So trying to juggle that, I left first thing this morning from Prince Albert and the team and the crew is actually loading up the car as we speak and on their way down here.
“It’s good to have the support system as well and the people that are around you to be able to allow us to do this kind of stuff.”
This year, she will be joined by another woman chasing the checkered flag on the track – American Julia Landauer.
Kalika has noticed more female drivers getting involved and feels it’s essential for their long-term fan base.
“It’s exciting for us to have the female presence in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series. Obviously, there’s a lot of females that are racing in local programs but to be able to get to that level and have some female representation in there is really a big step,” Kalika said.
“And it’s huge for the people that are watching, right, when they see that they can also do it, it can push them to and inspire them to go after their dreams.”
Kalika is an insurance broker and does racing on the side but would love to go full-time.
“People always think that I’m crazy by saying this but I do have such a crazy work/life balance and everything like that, that for me, when I get behind the wheel of a racecar, absolutely nothing else matters at that moment,” Kalika said.
“It’s kind of just my place. I get to be there and I get to focus on what I’m doing and I absolutely love the feeling of it and I think every single driver chases that same theme.”
Source: Read Full Article