HAMPTON, VA – On a hot summer night in Virginia, Macy Causey prepared to compete in one of the biggest Late Model Stock Car races in the country, the Hampton Heat 200 at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia, before a sea of fans ready to cheer her on.
The 16-year-old from Yorktown, Virginia is a third-generation racer who recently made NASCAR racing history when she became the first woman to win a Late Model Stock Car race at the historic South Boston Speedway. Before the victory, Causey had already generated buzz, being featured on NBC News and other prominent media outlets nationally and locally in the Hampton Roads area.
Her win at South Boston only made her even more prolific.
“It’s been a whirlwind. Getting that first win, it all comes after that,” Causey told POPULAR SPEED. “Hopefully it’s just the first win of very many. I worked with what I’ve got and what I had that night and worked with my crew chief, and we got it figured out. It was the right time, (the) right place, so it happened.”
Earlier this year, she was selected as part of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) Class of 2017 and competes with Rev Racing in select Late Model Stock Car races. The D4D was a program created by NASCAR, currently partnered with Rev Racing, to get more minority and female drivers into NASCAR. In its 12 year history, the initiative has propelled the careers of many NASCAR competitors, such as Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez, Aric Almirola and Darrell Wallace, Jr.
Rev Racing fields a car in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East as well as in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car racing. Causey races on the Late Model team, predominantly at her home track, Langley Speedway. While the K&N Series program has had success throughout the years, Rev Racing’s Late Model program has not yielded the same success against regional powerhouse racers such as Philip Morris and Lee Pulliam.
That made Causey’s victory at South Boston all the more impressive in being the first Late Model Stock Car win for Rev Racing in five years. Next year, having already proven herself capable of winning races, she hopes her South Boston triumph can help propel her through the ranks with Rev Racing into the K&N Series.
“My next step is definitely K&N, you know,” Causey explained. “I got Rev Racing their first Late Model win in five years, and I’m the youngest one they’ve accepted onto the program, so hopefully I’ve proven a lot. But I’m just going to keep doing my thing and hopefully next year, when they choose that spot for K&N, they look at my name quite a few times.”
Causey is a third-generation racer. She is the granddaughter of Diane Teal, the first woman to win a NASCAR track championship, and the daughter of Dee Causey. For her part, Macy Causey hopes to have a career in racing.
“My grandmother, Diane Teel, she was the first woman to win a NASCAR sanctioned race here at Langley Speedway,” the younger Causey said. “I started racing when I was eight years old, Bandoleros here at Langley, won championships. I race, my mom raced, I’m a third-generation female race car driver, so I kind of grew up in racing, all around racing. I’ve been around racing especially with my family, so it’s definitely a habit for me. I’m super excited for the rest of my career and what I’m going to be doing.”
At Langley Speedway, Causey certainly is a favorite among the fans. During July’s Hampton Heat 200, the first of four Late Model Stock Car majors to be run this year, thousands of fans congregated at the track, and many were sporting her colors – t-shirts, mostly pink, with her name and number on the front and a picture of her car on the back.
“It’s super exciting to have all these fans that support me and travel around across the East Coast and supporting me,” Causey commented. “It’s great, and I love it.”
In recent years, women have become more accepted in the sport. In the four Mid-Atlantic states that predominantly run Late Model Stock Cars (South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Eastern Tennessee), the ladies have turned up the wick and become very successful. Causey joins a growing list of female drivers who have scored significant accomplishments in recent years, which was seemingly kick-started when Haley Moody won a championship at Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, North Carolina in 2014.
Despite the growing acceptance, Causey does face backlash and criticism even still – but, with her famously positive attitude, she does not let it get to her.
“I’ve had a few people tell me nasty comments, but you can’t let that get to you,” Causey remarked. “Right before you’re about get into a car going 120mph, and you let someone tell you that you’re not an aggressive driver, you can’t let it get to you, so I try my best not to let that happen and let it come with my success. Clearly, it’s done me pretty good.”
The growing participation of women in the sport is something Causey welcomes. Her win at South Boston made her the second female in as many years to win a Whelen All-American Series Division I Late Model Stock Car race, joining Kate Dallenbach who picked up a historic victory at Hickory Motor Speedway last spring.
“It’s great,” Causey explained. “The more females we get out there and winning races, the more it shows how much more room there is in the Cup Series for females in the sport and what it’s definitely going to take.”
Like many other female racers, Causey credits Danica Patrick for laying a foundation for women to compete in NASCAR’s top ranks. However, Causey wants to leave her own mark in NASCAR racing.
“Danica’s definitely laid down a great path in our sport, but I think it’s time for new females and new talent to pick up where Danica has left off,” Causey said. “I don’t want to be the next Danica, or Dale, Jr. I want to be Macy Causey.”
So far, Causey is doing just that with a growing fanbase as she racks up accolades. Along with her win at South Boston Speedway, Causey was the youngest woman to make the field the Late Model Stock Car racing’s richest and most prestigious race at Martinsville Speedway last October. It was a feat no woman had accomplished in the event’s modern era until she, Moody and Annabeth Barnes-Crum all raced their way in last year.
Now, Causey is looking to the future, with the sky as her limit.
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