Alli Owens has everything you need to be a successful race car driver.
She has spunk, determination, and a raw ability to race cars and motorcycles. Despite the lack of opportunity for women in NASCAR, Owens’ dreams of becoming the first female Cup series champion.
How did you get into racing?
I lived in Indianapolis s for three years, and they held an annual Big Wheel Race. I was six-years-old and entered the event. After I won three different qualifying races, and won the main event -- I soon realized I had a very competitive personality. So, we moved to Florida, to a neighborhood of boys, which did all the crazy daredevil stuff that I loved.
They all were starting to get into BMX (Bicycle Moto Cross), I quickly followed them and found myself factory sponsored, and on the fast track to becoming an all star BMX rider. All that changed when my dad introduced me and my brother to a quarter-midget.
The rest is history.
What are you hoping to accomplish in the ARCA series this season?
I'm trying to get a full schedule locked so I can run for Rookie of the Year. If I don't find a sponsor for the full season then I am going after a win. I want to prove a point that I am here for the long run and I CAN WIN! Also, I want to earn the respect as a driver not just a female.
After testing and racing at Daytona, how do you feel about your chances this season?
I think we proved a lot as a team at Daytona. There were 65 drivers trying to make the race and only 32 made it on time. We were one of the 32 that made it over some of the big names that went home, or had to take a provisional. Our car was strong and my crew was amazing. After seeing how we all worked together and how the cars were prepared, I think we are going to be the under dogs that go out and bring our "A" game each time we hit the track.
What are your ultimate goals in auto racing?
To become a Cup series champion and drive for one of the top teams, and to compete in the Rolex 24 hours and other road racing events. I’d also like to race in the Baja 1000.
I also want to own my own development team for females. I want to be able to give girls the opportunities that I never had, and give them a chance to bypass the hard times and fulfill their dream; give other females a inspiration.
Do you think women racers have as many opportunities as their male counterparts?
I think that the guys think we do and the fans and on lookers do, but in reality I think it is just as hard or harder for us females. I don't want to sit here and say "poor me/us" so I will just say it is NOT as easy for us like people say. Think about it, you’re playing a game of basketball and there was a group of people all male except one girl, who do you think would get picked last?
Who are your racing heroes?
Well, I am a grass roots racer and I don't come from a racing background or a wealthy family; so I respect and idolize those who are from the same background. I strongly see Dale Earnhardt, Sr. as a hero. He made it because he truly wanted it not matter what he had to give it instead. Then you have Lyn St. James and Janet Guthrie -- just to name a few, who really are the heroes for us females. They did it when there was no "diversity" push. Its people like that, who I call heroes.
What is your biggest accomplishment to date in racing?
My biggest accomplishment doesn't involve on track activity. You see, when I was 13 my family told me if I wanted to continue racing, I would have to find my own money to go racing. So that day, I made a flyer, and me and my best friend hopped on our bicycles and rode all over Daytona Beach trying to find sponsors. From that day forward I became my own marketing person. At 16, I decided that I was going to graduate a year early from high school; so that way when I turned 18 I could race any series I wanted to, and wouldn't have to worry about school. I also worked the entire 2006 summer on a marketing sponsor proposal and contacted my current sponsor and arranged a meeting, and put this whole deal together by myself. Now, two years later, I am racing in ARCA. So my biggest accomplishment is not giving up and working through the tough times, and being totally committed to this.