Lucama, NC – Haley Moody’s championship season at Southern National Motorsports Park has earned the 19-year-old driver NASCAR’s Diverse Driver Award which she will accept at the Daytona International Speedway on February 20th.
The Diverse Driver Award recognizes Moody, from Kinston, for her on-track performance as well as her influence as a role model for women in and out of the sport.
“I think it’s pretty cool they would pick me out of everybody in the NASCAR world,” Moody said. “Even, like Jamey [Caudill] said, I’m not in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program and they would still choose me, I think that’s pretty big.”
Moody is the daughter of the late Jerry Moody, a longtime car owner at Southern National Motorsports Park. Haley Moody raced at Southern National Motorsports Park through the duration of the 2014 season, scoring three wins and winning the championship in the Limited Late Model division – her first championship of any kind.
Moody says being a woman in a male dominated sport is a challenge despite seeing herself not as a female racer but as a racer. Throughout her career, she’s been raced with less respect and looked down upon by some of her male competitors but she says it hasn’t shaken her resolve as a competitor.
“The racecar doesn’t know if it’s a female or a male driving it,” Moody explained. “We’re all the same. When I get in the car, I’m just another one of the guys trying to win the race or win championships. All girls can tell you, people look down on us trying to become something in a male dominated sport. They think it can’t happen. It doesn’t matter; we’re raced differently because we’re girls. It doesn’t shake my confidence in any way. It doesn’t bring me down. I just want to win races and keep having success.”
Moody’s championship came in her rookie season in Limited Late Model competition. She scored three wins, 16 top-five finishes and 23 top-10 finishes in 2014 with all three wins coming at Southern National. She was nominated for the Diverse Driver Award by George Silbermann, NASCAR’s Vice President of Regional and Touring Series.
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