Editor's Notebooks Top Stories

New Year, New Decade, New Horizons!

(January 1, 2010) salvaggio-portraitHappy New Year to all of our fans and fellow racers!  2009 was a great year for Thunder Valley Racing. We launched an updated website, as well as fielded our own race team. In racing competition, we  took mutliple pole positions, set track records, stood atop the podium multiple times, secured  two championships, and fielded the first ever Daytona Coupe replica in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, the longest race in North America. We have  a crew of more that 25 awesome individuals that support our racing efforts, and made many friends along the way. The future is indeed bright for our organization.

On the national racing front, 2010 is already shaping up to be the best year ever for women in racing. Last month witnessed the largest field of women to qualify/compete in stockcars at Daytona. While the number of women is indeed noteworthy, perhaps of greater significance is the fact that they did it in top notch, highly competive equipment. This, my friends, is monumental, and perhaps the greatest development of the last decade.

Thunder Valley Racing is now entering our 15th year reporting on and featuring aspiring and accompished women racers.  The past ten years have seen solid progress in the number of women moving into the upper echelons of racing. Racers Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, and Milka Duno  joined legendary racers Lyn St. James and Janet Guthrie in the ranks of Indy racing. Melanie Troxell broke new ground by moving into and winning NHRA drag racing events, while racer Amy Ruman continued honing her skills in Trans Am racing, and stockcar driver Alli Owen sharpened her driving skills, and is poised as a front runner in the ARCA Series as the new decade dawns. So, with all of these accomplishments, it would seem that women have truly made great gains on the race track. But, how far have we really come?

While the accomplishments of these outstanding women racers are more than noteworthy, the stark reality is that women remain wildly under-represented in motorsports, particularly at the upper levels. In 15 yearsof reporting on women in racing, in fielding our own race team, in competing alongside great women in racing, and in communicating with legendary racers such as Janet Guthrie, we have learned that success is rooted in:

1.  Belief

2. Commitment

3.  Teamwork

4. Learning from failure

5. Building trust and forming long-term relationships

6. An abiding respect for all things “speed”

We believe that an increasing number of women understand the commitment and trust-building needed to move into the upper levels of racing, and look forward to a great 2010. We are thankful for our racing success, and for all of the women racers, family members, and friends that visit our site and encourage and support the women they know who are following their racing dreams. Best wishes for a safe and successful 2010! See you at the track!

Karen Salvaggio


Thunder Valley Racing