Auto Racing: Q-and-A with Erica Ensor
July 11, 2013 8:26PM
Erica Ensor is the STARS Classic Modifieds defending track champion at Grundy County Speedway. | Supplied photo
Updated: August 13, 2013 6:36AM
Ensor, 16, of Sheridan, is the STARS Classic Modifieds defending track champion at Grundy County Speedway. She has been racing since age 12, when she was a titlist in her rookie year as a mini-cup driver. Before that she competed in straight-line racing in snowmobiles.
What was it like to be a champion at age 16 in a division where you were the youngest driver?
It was really cool and exciting. I really wanted to do it for my family, because of all the hard work they put into my racing, especially my dad (Eddie).
What got you into racing?
My dad pretty much drove anything, from snowmobiles to motorcyles to circle track cars. I grew up at Grundy watching the late-models, so it’s always something I’ve wanted to do. I finally begged my dad to let me do the circle track stuff, and he let me.
What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you on a track?
Last year, I was in a pretty bad wreck. It happened so fast. I remember being up in the fence on my side, then looking down, and this other car’s motor was in my face. That was crazy.
Who are your favorite race car drivers?
As far as NASCAR, Kyle Busch. I know for a lot of people it’s a like or hate thing, but I think he’s very talented. Locally, I’ve been watching Pat Kelly since I was a little girl, and he’s definitely the one I look up to the most.
What do you think of Danica Patrick?
I like her and support her because she’s a girl. I know a lot of people don’t. But she has talent.
Do you have any racing superstitions?
The only thing I can think of is that I don’t eat at all on race day. It’s not like I’m nervous, but I just have no appetite. But after the race (laughing) I eat too much. Then I’ll eat anything.
You also have a late-model car. What’s the plan for that?
The car was done a few months ago, so we’ve had it in the shop. I’ve tested it a few times. We’ve been trying to focus on the open-wheel stuff, but I hopefully will race it by the end of the year, or for sure next year.
What did the late-model feel like?
I liked it. In the open-wheel car you feel very short, wheel-based. You feel like you’ve got something under you in a late-model.
What would you like to see happen in your racing career?
I really want to get into a late-model at Grundy and other local tracks. I want to stick with the open-wheel stuff, because I have a lot of fun doing that and it gives me a lot of good driving skills.
As told to Tony Baranek