Sarah
McCune

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Related Issue: Women Racers Directory, Women in Racing, Women Racers, More Women in Racing, Race Schedules, Notable Women
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Bio

Sarah McCune refuses to drive a pink car. She doesn’t need to -- she stands out anyway. This Ohio native has already broken track records held by NASCAR superstars Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. A natural behind the wheel, she has amassed more than 50 wins and earned several titles, including that of National Champion in Quarter Midgets. After retiring from Quarter Midgets, McCune made a name for herself in the United States Auto Club (USAC) consistently finishing in the Top 10. Despite making great strides towards a career in IRL/CART, she has decided to turn her sights on stock cars, and her focus is unyielding. In addition to her successes on the track, McCune graduated with honors from Indiana University in 1999 with a degree in marketing and public relations. Her ambition is to enter the ranks of NASCAR’s elite and is adamant about not wanting to be the best female driver, but the best driver -- period.

"You just can't control your destiny. You don't know when your time is up." -- Sarah McCune

Sarah McCune Fun Facts:

To stay in shape: Pilates, yoga

Favorite music, group: U2, Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band, Barenaked Ladies

Favorite TV channels: MTV

Favorite TV show: Friends

Favorite food: Pasta

Favorite movies: Breakfast at Tiffany's, It's a Wonderful Life, For Love of the Game

Favorite vacation spot: Aruba

Favorite cities on the race schedule: Chicago, Indianapolis, Phoenix

Favorite restaurant on the race schedule: Bandera

What I admire most in others: Determination, perseverance, honesty

First job: YAAW (Young Artist at Work) for the City of Toledo

First street car: Toyota Four Runner

What made you fall in love with racing: The challenge and competition

How did you get into racing: My grandfather was a very successful racecar driver in the 1960s. So, racing has always been a part of my family. My father took me to see a race when I was a child, and I have been racing ever since.

Siblings: Sister

Favorite charity: SAVE-A-PET

Favorite song: "True Companion"

Racecar driver you'd love to meet: If I could meet with any driver, I would give anything to spend a few more minutes with my friend Kenny Irwin.

Pets: Scottish terrier, Madison

Childhood dream: Win the Indy 500

Favorite superhero: Wonderwoman ... of course!

Favorite non-racing sport: I like to watch college basketball, but I love to ski.

Speeding tickets in the last year: One

Last concert attended: Dave Matthews Band

Favorite quote: "The challenge is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else."

Ohio native Sarah McCune has spent more than half of her 25 years behind the wheel of a racecar. Sarah found success in every series she has competed in, from the Quarter Midgets of her youth to her more recent entries in United States Auto Club events. Sarah excelled off the track as well, graduating with honors from Indiana University with a degree in Marketing and Public Affairs.

Sarah is a natural behind the wheel, as was evidenced by her incredible run in Quarter Midgets that began when she was eleven years old. In just a few seasons, Sarah amassed more than 50 wins and earned several titles, including that of National Champion in 1991.

Following her retirement from Quarter Midgets in 1992, Sarah dabbled in a few series and found success in all. She won five Modified Midget races, earned a number of top-five finishes in the Sprint Car Series, and became the first woman to win an ARCA feature.

In 1996, Sarah ran her first full season in the Midgets. When the final checkers flew, Sarah had scored twelve top-ten finishes in fifteen races, winning three. She was invited to attend the Lyn St. James Driving School that November.

Sarah had another first one year later, becoming the first woman to win a race in the North American Midget Auto Racing Series. That win, paired with another victory and eight top fives, helped her finish second in NAMARS Championship points in 1997. She also earned the Ohio State Nationals Midget Champion title and set two track qualifying records.

As if that were not enough, Sarah was one of only two Americans extended an invitation to participate in the "Australian Down Under Tour," in which she broke a track record held by Tony Stewart on the way to a feature win. She also participated in the "Thunder in the Dome" midget race, one of only two women invited, and became the only woman ever to qualify for the event.

Sarah’s next stop was on the USAC National Midget Series, which helped launch the careers of Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, John Andretti, Ryan Newman and others. Her rookie year featured a number of top-tens that helped her land a twelfth-place finish in championship points. She became the first woman to earn a top-five finish in a USAC National Points event, crossing the line second in Birch Run, Michigan.

Putting her racing career on the back burner, Sarah set out to accomplish her goal of graduating from college in four years. While she did race on a limited basis after entering Indiana University, her focus was education. She graduated with honors in 1999 after completing her degrees in Marketing and Public Affairs.

While in college, Sarah earned six top-ten finishes in ten USAC National Events. She also finished first and second in the two ARCA midget series races she entered.

In 2000, Sarah found a ride in the Indy Racing League and began testing at Walt Disney World Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway. Though testing was promising, the team encountered financial difficulty and was forced to withdraw from competition. Sarah instead focused on the remaining fifteen races in the USAC season, finishing in the top ten eleven times. She also won both NAMARS races she entered that year.

The 2001 and 2002 seasons found Sarah continuing her successful participation in the USAC National Midget Series but continuing to search for the opportunity to display her skills at higher levels of the sport. The desire to move up the racing ladder caused Sarah to begin exploring opportunities in stock car racing. The first team to offer an opportunity was Roush Racing. Sarah completed two successful test sessions in Roush Racing NASCAR Craftsman Trucks and also was able to attend the Finish Line Driving School.

The conclusion of the current 2003 racing season finds Sarah still searching for her “big break”. During this season she tested in the Infiniti Pro Series and continued to gain stock car experience by returning to the Finish Line Racing School for advanced courses. Sarah’s drive to succeed in racing was recognized when she was invited to attend the “Women In The Winner’s Circle” program and was named the first recipient of the Kara Hendrick Spirit Award: “In recognition of extraordinary dedication and perseverance in the sport of auto racing and in memory of the late USAC race car driver who excelled in the sport and endeared herself to the entire racing fraternity”. With her track record and past success, Sarah is a proven talent ready to move up in the sport of auto racing.

In eight 2003 National Midget Car starts, Sarah found the “top-10” twice, with a fifth at Granite City, Ill. and a 10th at Belleville, Kans. She also was the second-fastest qualifier for a race at Lincoln, Neb. and finished 24th in the series standings. In only five starts in 2001 and 2002 she set fast qualifying time at Granite City, Ill. in 2002 and finished seventh in that night’s feature. She finished 14th in the 2000 National Midget Car points, posting impressive back-to-back third-place finishes on the high-banked 1/2-mile paved ovals at Salem and Winchester, IN. She also had a fifth at Salem. The fastest qualifier in a field of more than 50 participants for the 1999 National Midget Car event at Anderson (IN) Speedway in June, Sarah started 10 feature events in 1999 on her way to a "top-20" point ranking. Her best outing was a second-place at the Winchester (IN) Speedway late in the season, but she had five other "top-10s." She was a serious contender for the 1998 MCI WorldCom National Midget Car “Rookie of the Year” honors and wound up 12th in the seasonal point rankings. The cousin of USAC driver Jimmy McCune, she made 10 feature starts and finished sixth in a race at the Louisville (Ky.) Motor Speedway and seventh at Odessa, Mo. In 1997 she scored a pair of “top-10” finishes in only three starts.

Results

Car No C/E/T S F Qual Speed Laps XL LL Status Pts


Sun, 11 Sep 2005 - Chicagoland Speedway Sam Schmidt Motorsports 8 D/I/F 1 9 187.795 5 1 5 Accident 23

Schedule

 

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