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A York County teenager who does not yet have her driver’s license is pursuing her dream of being a professional NASCAR driver.
15-year-old Macy Causey is a third generation stock car driver — and while she may not be legally allowed to drive to the grocery store, that doesn’t stop her from racing over a hundred miles per hour around a NASCAR track.
Causey is in Florida this week for NASCAR’s annual Drive for Diversity Combine, which is being held at New Smyrna Speedway Monday through Wednesday after it was rescheduled due to Hurricane Matthew. The Drive for Diversity program provides racing opportunities, equipment and coaching to young minority and female drivers who have shown promise in their racing careers.
The 13th-annual combine allows NASCAR partner Rev Racing to evaluate candidates, and select those they deem worthy for full-time rides in NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series for the upcoming season.
Causey was the youngest driver to compete in last year’s combine but was not selected for a ride with Rev Racing.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “Not making it in last year just gave me more motivation. With the 2016 season I had, it really boosted my confidence.”
Causey won the Rookie of the Year award at Langley Speedway in 2015, but the track did not host any races this season. She spent this past year racing at Dominion Raceway north of Richmond and the South Boston Speedway, both in the Late Model Division.
Causey’s grandmother Diane Teel was a race car driver in her own day, and says she is proud to see Macy follow in her tire tracks.
“I’m seeing my dream coming true that I didn’t pursue,” she said. “I didn’t want to go on the circuit because I had kids. My husband and I swore that our family would come first.”
Teel was the first woman to win a NASCAR-sanctioned event in the late 1970s and became the first woman to compete in what is now known as the Xfinity Series in 1982. The racing pioneer believes that her granddaughter has what it takes to succeed against NASCAR-caliber competition.
“She’s a terrific driver. She has it,” Teel said. “I tell you this little girl can drive a race car.”
Macy’s father Rette Causey is a racer as well — and she drives the same car number he did, number 33.
“It’s a very great tradition,” she said. “My family really wants me to race — but they want me to do what I want, but I want to race. I have a great support system in place.”
In advance of the combine, Causey said her father gave her advice and told her to watch videos of racing at New Smyrna Speedway to discover the preferred line through the corners and study the tactics of the winning drivers.
Causey is one of 17 drivers competing in this week’s combine. “All 17 of us are there for the same reason,” said Causey. “I hope to prove to Rev Racing how much I want to be with them.”
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson went through the Drive for Diversity program and spent the 2012 season with Rev Racing. Larson scored his first career Cup Series victory in August.
Heading into the combine, Causey says she has “a little bit of butterflies, but being there last year I have a much better idea. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime and I’m thrilled to be there.”
“Hopefully I make it through.”