Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The driver that should have gotten Danica Patrick's NASCAR Nationwide Ride

Recently, IZOD IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick signed a part-time NASCAR ride with JR Motorsports. Danica has virtually no stock car experience, but picked up the ride for her sponsorship with and her popularity toward younger female fans. IndyCarGarage recently had a chance to meet and interview a driver that would have gladly taken the ride with JR Motorsports and has the credentials to back it up, Megan Reitenour.

To start off Megan, tell us a little about yourself and how you got into racing.

I’m a third generation race car driver. I started at the age of five in quarter midgets. After racing quarter midgets for 7 years I moved up to the bandoleros, raced those for 2 years. I won four championships in 2 years. Then I moved up to legends raced those for 2 years earning state rookie of the year. In 2008 I moved up to the Super Cup Stock Car Series. In 10 races I was able to obtain 9 top 5‘s and 10 top 10’s, earning 3 wins (series high). I finished 2nd in the points and winning rookie of the year. In 2009 I was selected for the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program. I race in Hudson NC, in a NASCAR Whelen Late model. Out of 17 races, I had 16 top 10 finishes and 7 top 5’s. I finished 4th in points and won Rookie of the year.

What do you think is the most important attribute that contributed to your success at such an early age?

The most important thing that contributed to my success would have to be my support system. A great support system is essential to being successful in racing. I’m so thankful to have amazing friends and family that work so hard to get me where I’m at today. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without them.

Tell us about your involvement in NASCAR driver for diversity and how that has helped you further your advancement in NASCAR.

Last year I got the opportunity to drive for Drive for Diversity. Honestly, I would be out of a ride without their help. They gave me the opportunity to continue in my career and I’m so grateful for all of their help. I tested for them in October to see if I will be running for them next year and they will make their decision in February. Not only did Drive for Diversity keep me on the track they helped me out a lot with keeping my name out there. As anyone knows, in racing, it is one of the most important things to keep your name out there and they do a great job.

Recently, open wheel racing driver Danica Patrick signed a 13 race deal with JR Motorsports to drive in the Nationwide Series, tell us your thoughts about that situation and how it might be frustrating for a driver like yourself to get passed over for a driver that has virtually no stock car experience.

Danica is a great driver. She also has put herself in a great situation and great equipment by teaming up with JR motorsports. As most people know you have to be in great equipment to be successful. She also is going to have a ton of seat time which is great for any driver. I believe she is doing everything right to be successful in stock cars. I think with her going out there and being successful is only going to open the doors for me and other females in racing. I’m actually not too frustrated about this because I don’t want to just jump right into a nationwide car. I want to get as much experience as possible so when I do make it to the top three levels in NASCAR I will be contending for those championships.

Do your future racing plans include strictly stock car racing, or would you be interested in possible exploring other options on the racing circuits, for example the newly formed Road to Indy program that features a new ladder system for young aspiring drivers wanting to race in the Indy 500.

No. My plans don’t strictly stick with stock cars. I never close off any options in racing. I love racing whether it be in an IndyCar or NASCAR. Racing is my passion and it’s all I’ve ever want to do.

Obviously the most important to any racing career is having strong sponsorship, talk about the programs your trying to put together and what you have lined up for 2010.

Right now like many other teams we are seeking sponsorship. We have a lot to offer companies. We have a few opportunities all depending on sponsorship.

You recently mentioned in a previous interview that you’re a fan of Tony Stewart, what about Tony do you admire and interest you as a fan?

Tony can driver any car anywhere and be contending for that win. He works really hard and is very talented. I hope one day soon I will get to race side by side with him, but of course passing him for that win.

IndyCarGarage would like to thank Megan for taking the time to sit for this interview and wish her the best of luck in her young career.

To keep up to date with Megan Reitenour, check out the following websites below: or

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