Fort Wayne race car driver hoping to pave way for young women in the sport

Published: May. 29, 2022 at 1:33 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - 18-year-old Paige Rogers has been racing for as long as she could. She’s won several first place races and even second place at a championship race at Corrigan Oil Speedway in Michigan. Now, she’s hoping to pave the way for other young women in the sport.

From her first time getting that checkered flag when she was only about 12-years-old, to her first time getting behind the wheel of her own race car.

“I got into racing in 2013, did some go karts in Indiana and Ohio,” Rogers said. “Since then I’ve traveled everywhere from Florida to North Carolina.”

She says it’s not just about getting behind the wheel, it’s about focus.

“You have to eat, sleep and breathe it, there’s no time for parties. I’ve struggled with friends and relationships,” she said. “Racing isn’t just what you do at the track.Racers are one in the shop, a lot of people don’t realize that. A Lot of hard work goes in.”

She says it’s also about knowing and taking care of her car. She says racers are one in the shop and on the track.

Rogers says it hasn’t always been easy. Usually she’s one of the only woman on the track, especially at her age.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been pushed aside for being a female, but there are times when I don’t feel like I’m taken seriously,” she said. “But when they see you out there I gain a lot of respect, and I beat them and they’re like oh? This girl means business.”

Rogers says she wants to see more diversity in racing, and she’s hoping to be a part of that. She’s applying for the NASCAR Race for Diversity program in North Carolina. She says if she makes it, she will be racing alongside other women and minorities in racing. Then eventually, she hopes to make it to NASCAR.

“If you know that’s what you want to do inside your heart, go get it girl…or go get it whoever,” she said. “I think that me racing is a testament to other young girls that they can follow their dreams.”

Rogers says she’s heading in the right direction and she wants to remind other young drivers to race on.

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