Women in NASCAR: Erin Crocker

This is the second article of a series about "Women in NASCAR" by Melissa. This time she has the opportunity to interview Erin Crocker. She is part of NASCAR developmental program at Evernham Motorsports.In September, she'll move up to the Busch Series

After playing phone tag for a few days I was finally able to ask Erin a few questions.  The butterflies were not there this time.  It seems to be getting easier and easier each time I talk to a driver.  Maybe it helped that I didn't know exactly what time she was calling, but no the less things went smoothly.

Media attention is something she has had to get used to.  Erin has been heralded as "Nascar's Danica".  "It's helped (the media attention given to Danica).  It's lead to a ton of interviews.  I've been called Nascar's Danica and that has attracted sponsors.  I think all of the attention given to her has helped all women drivers."  Being compared to someone else can never be easy though.  "Yes and no there is added pressure but the pressure has been positive.  It gives me more confidence.  I've had all of this media attention and unless you are writing badly about it me it's all been positive.  I've got a great team behind me in Evernham and that relieves a lot of the pressure."

As a female myself, who toils in a male dominated world, I know at times that acceptance can be fleeting.  Erin feels she is accepted in most cases.  "My team accepts and believes in me.  You get competitors though that from time to time gives you the eye." 

We all find ourselves facing obstacles to obtain our goals.  "I don't know what my biggest obstacle has been.  I guess getting myself situated with good teams.  As a female being able to get good equipment and being able to prove myself."  She certainly has been lucky in with that.  From her sprint car owner, Mike Woodring, that put her out there at a national level to signing with Evernham Motor sports she has had excellent equipment.

A World of Outlaw winner, an ARCA front runner, and now soon to be Busch driver, Erin has covered a wide range of racing.  So why not IRL?  "About four years ago I wanted to go to the IRL. I started looking at the Infinity Pro series.  I started going to both IRL and Nascar races.  I couldn't get into Infinity Pro everyone wanted money which I didn't have. It was basically impossible they would ask about money which I didn't have but not about my talent which I did have.  You can still get to Nascar based on talent like Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne.  My childhood heroes, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon are in Nascar.  Indy is still has awesome cars and with my engineering background they fascinate me."

The Busch series is her next step.  "I am looking forward to it.  It's a huge step.  I have an ARCA car that is completive that is being fielded by a Cup team that is going well.  The competition level is going to be increased.  I'm very excited though."  If her past is any indication of her future she is certain to be a shining star on the circuit.

Her talent was certainly proved, at least in my eyes, at Richmond International Raceway this year.  Going into the corner she kept her car from going into the fence with no brake pedal.  "I'm not sure how I did it.  I knew I was in trouble.  I entered the corner too deep.  When I realized I had no brake pedal I knew that I had to scrub some speed.  I just did the best I could do.  I spun the car to cut my speed.  I'm amazed that no one hit me."

Drafting amazes me and asking the drivers what it's like has become a standard question for me.  Someday I hope that I get to feel it since I've yet to find one that could really describe it for me.  "I haven't done a lot of it.  I guess you feel a little of it in Michigan and Pocono.  You don't do it in sprint cars with the big wings.  I think it's really important and really neat.  It's a whole new learning experience for me that I need to learn more about.

Erin Crocker is a down-to-earth girl.  She's got her head on her shoulders, the drive in her heart, and pure talent.  I look forward to watching her in the Busch series and in the future the Cup series.  As always you are more than welcome to share your thoughts and opinions with me at rissmeek@aol.com.




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