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DeCarlo revved up for Daytona ARCA opener

Published Feb 12th 2008, 5:20pm by

Gabi2_edited1 Gabi DeCarlo started racing karts at age 11, and entered her first race at the age of 12. After winning multiple kart championships, DeCarlo ran the Superkarts USA Pro Moto Tour with the KGB North America factory team for four years. During that time she was the only female in SKUSA Pro Moto history to finish a national season in the top twelve.

DeCarlo moved up to open wheel race cars, and competed in both the Formula Jim Russell Championship and the Barber Dodge Championship. In the winter of 2002 Gabi was invited to the Jim Russell Graduate Run-Off’s, and made it into the top-twenty Semi-Finals out of over one hundred drivers.

In 2004 Gabi progressed to the Star Mazda Red Line Oil Championship driving a Formula Mazda. She finished fifth in the series and is the "2004 Rookie of the Year". In 2005, she moved to the Star Mazda North American Pro Championships in 2005.

In 2007, Gabi, a rookie driver finish 11th in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship points. This season Gabi will run the ARCA/ReMax Series, as the driver of the No. 90 Great Clips entry for Stringer Motorsports.

How did you get into racing?

I started racing go karts when I was 11 years old with my dad and younger brother. It started out as a weekend family thing that was fun for all of us and something we could all do together. I raced go karts for a long time until I was old enough to race full size cars at age 16.

Have you ever raced anything besides a stock car?
Yes. I've raced many types of cars. Go karts first, and then open wheel formula cars on road courses for a long time. I've raced sports cars for a while then moved into stock cars starting with a late model,
super late model and then into the ARCA cars.

Do you feel good about the upcoming season after your test at Daytona?
I feel great about the 2008 season! We had a very good test at Daytona and have high hopes for the first race at Daytona. Although Daytona is our first and biggest race there is a lot more to the season than that one race. We have some great new cars for the short and intermediate tracks. I feel very good about the progress we've made in the off-season and expect some great thing out of the new season.

Gabi What are your racing plans this season, how many ARCA races are you running and are you competing anywhere else?
My racing plans for this season are to run the entire ARCA schedule starting at Daytona. I have no plans to compete in any other series this season since we are planning on running the entire ARCA schedule. My team and I are very focused on running for the championship this season and it is going to take our full attention.

What do you hope to accomplish, racing wise, this season?
Of course every racecar driver’s main goal for the season is to win a race and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't one of my goals. Our main goals are top 10 and top 5 finishes in most of the races and to be well within the top 10 in point at the end of the season. As a driver, I also want to just keep becoming more comfortable and confident in the car and on track. Just keep learning about the mechanics of the car and progressing week after week.

Who are you racing idols?
I don't really have any racing idols that I grew up following but I do have people that I have found along the way that I look up to and respect. Lyn St. James has always been a part of my racing career since I was racing go karts and has helped many young female drivers along the way.

What is your ultimate goal in motorsports?
My ultimate goal in racing is to be racing a full time Nextel Cup season for many years to come. My goal is very simple, to make a career out of racing.

Lindapic_noman2 by Linda Przygodski
Contributing Editor
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