Annabeth Barnes Aiming For Big Martinsville Weekend
Annabeth Barnes is gunning for her first Martinsville start.
Proper etiquette puts ladies first. This isn’t always the case in stock car racing, but Annabeth Barnes is hoping to change that and prove that ladies can once again find their way to the front.
Barnes is racing this weekend in the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 Late Model Stock race at Martinsville Speedway. It is her first time at the challenging half-mile track but she got some track time during an open practice session last week.
“I was really happy with the car. Off the trailer, the car was good,” said Barnes during a recent media event promoting the race. “I was able to focus on adapting to the track.”
The 18-year-old driver from Taylorsville, N.C., is no stranger to racing. Her father raced stock cars. She also spent a lot of her youth in her grandfather’s shop.
“My dad was one of those drivers who was just so passionate about racing,” explained Barnes. “That passion rubbed off on me. I was five and I decided that I had to do this (race cars). I had my first season racing karts when I was seven and that was it. I never looked back.”
Barnes has been impressive in her young career, racking up over 200 kart wins and winning two karting Grand National championships.
Her move to stock cars has also been strong. Her first full stock car season was in 2011 and Barnes completed the year with nine top-five finishes in the Limited Late Model division. She followed up with another strong effort in 2012 and made several Late Model starts.
On the heels of the 2012 season, she was invited to NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity tryout and was selected to be one of seven drivers from across the nation to drive for Rev Racing in the program. She has competed at several weekly tracks across the Carolinas and Virginia this season for Rev Racing and in a race car owned and fielded by her family. She turned in several top-10 and top-five finishes during 2013.
This weekend she will be driving a family-owned car in the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300.
She hopes to continue to grow in the weekly series while racing against some of the best weekly drivers in the region and one day transition to the Sprint Cup series.
“Danica Patrick has opened the door for female drivers,” added Barnes. “This is an amazing time in NASCAR. I really think that NASCAR is ready for a female driver.”
The Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 will run this Sunday. The field for the feature race will be determined by four 20-lap heat races and a 20-lap “last chance” race.
The heat races start Sunday at noon. Tickets are only $25 with youth 12 and under admitted free.
The October racing action will continue at Martinsville Speedway with the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 Powered by Kroger on October 27.
Advance tickets for the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 Powered by Kroger start at just $37.
Advance tickets for the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, Oct. 26 are just $30 with youth 12 and under admitted free. Tickets for Pole Day, Friday, Oct. 25, are $15. Youth 12 and under are admitted free on both October 25 and 26.
To purchase tickets for the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 Powered by Kroger weekend, call 877.RACE.TIX or visit www.martinsvillespeedway.com.
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