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40% of NASCAR Fans are Women but NOT the Drivers - Why?

Published Aug 20th 2007, 3:35pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Debrenshaw In the world of motor sports, there is no greater challenge for a women, than to make a career choice to be a professional race car driver. These women are uniquely qualified business entrepreneurs. To succeed they need talent behind the wheel , top flight equipment, technical support, training, a fiercely competitive nature, grit, un wavering determination and last but not least the marketing know how to attract major sponsors and make them willing to invest millions of dollars each year to support their careers. I would even dare say it may be one of the toughest industries for women to make it to the top of the field.

Major sponsorships for female drivers like Deborah Renshaw that evaporate after one race season or a few bad race results are not enough to carry a female driver into victory lane in a major NASCAR series. Getting the best equipment, enough wheel time, the 100% support of the entire NASCAR organization, support from other drivers on the track, (yes you guys out there!), and generous marketing and support to take a female driver like Deborah Renshaw to the checked flag and keep her competitive in a NASCAR series takes a multi year sponsorship commitment to her through all the ups and downs of racing.

Deborah Renshaw, native of Bowling Green Kentucky “dared to dream”. As a youngster she competed at local race tracks around Kentucky and Tennessee where her father, Dan, was a team owner. With racing in her blood, she went off to college at Northwood (MI) University where in 1997 she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business along with an Associate Degree in Automotive Marketing. With this education in toe, Deborah chased that racing dream with the support of her family by competing in the ARCA/Remax Series where she was the first women to lead a points race in a NASCAR sanctioned series.

Deborah then moved into the NASCAR Bush series for a few races to get experience and in 2004 to the NASCAR Truck series and became to 1st women to lead a lap in 2004 at Darlington ( Darlington is referred to as the track too tough to tame), she achieved two top 20 finishes out of the 14 races she competed in 2004.

In the 2005 NASCAR Truck Series became again the 1st female to lead a lap, had 6 top 20 finishes and achieved a career record by finishing 12th at Dover, she is the second highest finishing female in NASCAR history . In 2005 she completed a full season in the NASCAR Truck Series, was the top women driver in 2005 and completed the season 24th, overall in race points.

Deborah was featured in the January 2006 issue of Car and Driver as one of the nations top female drivers, was featured in 2007 in Redbook Magazine in an article called " Stay-Calm Secrets (From Women Who Should Know), she is currently featured on the Disney DVD Herbie Re-Loaded a movie about a female NASCAR driver, in a featurette about the real life of a female NASCAR driver.

The Women’s Automotive Association International , (, supports women in motor sports through a “Women in Racing “ program . Deborah was presented with a 2006 “Spirit Of Leadership” award for being a “true leader “ and trail blazer for young women seeking careers in the motor sports industry.

Deborah is a person of integrity, high values and professionalism. Even with her hectic race schedule in 2005 Deborah made time to give back to her community. She participated in the Lyn St James Foundation, (, “Women in the Winner’s Circle” annual event in support of up and coming female drivers. Deborah also stays active with the Northwood University Alumni Association and was a guest speaker at the Northwood University Auto Show VIP panel , she carried the Northwood University Colors at her 2005 race at Michigan International Speedway in support of the student body. Deborah participated in the 2005 Annual Green Brothers Celebrity Golf Tournament to help raise funds for several charities including the Children's Miracle Network and the Victory Junction Gang Camp. She also speaks at primary and secondary schools to discuss with the students various career opportunities available in the motorsports industry.

Harlequin, a publishing company that specializes in romance novels has created a series of books with a NASCAR theme, "In the Groove" by Pamela Britton is the first in a series of NASCAR themed romance novels that hit the market in 2006. After all, according to a 2005 ESPN poll, 42 percent of NASCAR fans are female and are 26% more likely to read romance novels.

NASCAR Crew Chief Shawn Parker and NASCAR female race car driver Deborah Renshaw are a real life NASCAR romance and met each other at the start of the NASCAR season in the motorhome lot at Daytona International Speedway in February of 2004. Although Shawn and Deborah had spent many Daytona's in the infield, as fate would have it, they had parked their motorhomes right beside one another in the infield. Deborah was there competing in the ARCA series and Shawn was there as a crew chief in the NASCAR series. Deborah married Shawn Parker, a NASCAR crew chief, in 2006.

42 % of NASCAR fans are women and Deborah Renshaw contributes to the success of NASCAR by bringing more of these fans to the track. I have personal experience to back this up as I attended several of Deborah races personally to support Deborah during her 2005/2006 season. I invited many car dealers and automotive industry professional to be guests for a first time experience with NASCAR to support Deborah at trackside events. Many of these new NASCAR and Deborah Renshaw fan converts are eagerly awaiting NASCAR to start every racing series event with these words ….” Ladies and Gentleman, start your engines”.

In 9 career ARCA RE/MAX Series starts since 2002, career-best finish 7th at Nashville Superspeedway ‘02. Also finished 8th at Kentucky Speedway ‘02, 9th at Chicagoland Speedway ’02, 11th at Talladega Superspeedway & Pocono Raceway ’02, 21st at Salem Speedway ’03, 24th at Daytona Int’l Speedway ’03, 33rd at Kentucky ’03 and 38th at Nashville ’03. Career-best qualifying runs 3rd at Salem ’03, 6th at Chicagoland ‘02, 7th twice at Kentucky ’02 & ’03, 8th at Talladega ’02 & 10th at Daytona ‘03. Veteran of NASCAR Winston Racing Series late models at Fairgrounds Speedway at Nashville (Tennessee). Graduate of Fast Track High Performance Driving School and the Lyn St. James Driver Development program. Finished 15th in driver points at Fairgrounds Speedway at Nashville in 2001 with 3 top-10 finishes. Deborah set a track record at Riverview Speedway in Carthage, TN.

In 2002 Renshaw made history by becoming the first female to lead the point’s race in a NASCAR-sanctioned series at Nashville's Fairgrounds Speedway.

Who will take on the challenge and join me and to support female race car drivers like Deborah Renshaw and get them to the checked flag in a major NASCAR series?

Go here to learn more about Deborah Renshaw and her racing career :

Jody DeVere
President is a proud 2007 sponsorship of the No. 112 Chevrolet driven by the highest ranked NASCAR professional female race car driver Deborah Renshaw. Deborah Renshaw also heads up the panel of 50 automotive expert women on

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