Auto Racing: Q-and-A with Renee Farren, Street Stocks, Grundy County Speedway
July 17, 2012 6:42PM
Updated: August 19, 2012 6:27AM
Farren, 15, is in her ninth year as a race car driver. She has won two go-kart track titles at Jules Raceway. She’s in her second season as a street stocker at Grundy and ranks 12th in the points standings. A sophomore-to-be at Yorkville High School, she’s a guard for the girls basketball team.
What got you into this?
My grandpa (Jim Gates) raced midgets out here back when it first opened. My cousin raced go-karts, too, so we went to watch and then I wanted to get into it.
Your go-kart success, did the boys you raced against like that?
Not much. But they didn’t really say anything.
When you first started in an actual stock car, how did that feel?
I was nervous at first, but the more I drove the more comfortable I felt.
When you were a little kid, did you play with dolls or die-cast cars?
(Laughing) I played with dolls a little bit. But the competition and the challenge that racing brings, and the adrenaline rush that I get from it, is great.
What has been the hardest hurdle in becoming a competitive driver at 15?
Just my nerves. I’m still kind of nervous, scared to beat and bang. But I’m getting there.
What’s your opinion of Danica Patrick?
I don’t mind her as a racer. I just think she needs to have a better attitude toward her fans and to accept the fact that not everything is everybody else’s fault when it comes to accidents.
What do the kids at school think about your racing?
They ask me about it a lot. They think it’s really cool, and some of them come down and watch.
You play basketball at Yorkville. What’s harder, racing or basketball?
This. It’s more of a mental game.
What will satisfy you by the end of this season?
Get a top 10 finish in points.
As told to Tony Baranek