Author Rick Kelsheimer babbles and rants in a shameless attempt to trick unsuspecting web surfers to buy his books: Paradise Lanes The Lost Slab, South Union, The Hanging Of Betsey Reed, Wa-Ba-Shik-Ki and The Adventures of Wabash Jake
I won a free cruise from a company that said their fleet consisted of ships that were called micro ocean liners. They said the small ship would allow the passenger to get a true sense of the power of the ocean. They are having trouble getting people to book a second time. I wonder why...
Race fans may not have heard of Sloan Henderson yet, but that is about to change.
Due to the global impact and success of Danica Patrick, national racing teams and corporate sponsors are frantically scouring the country in search of the next dynamic female racer. With potentially millions of dollars on the line, the driver must have a dynamic personality, a wholesome image that Madison Avenue can promote and most importantly, a lead foot and the ability to take the checkered flag ahead of the boys.
From all indications, eighteen year old NASCAR phenom, Sloan Henderson, meets the criteria and is poised and ready to drive herself into the national spotlight. After only two years in the NASCAR Whelen Late Model Series, Sloan has made enough noise in the racing world forBleacherReport.com to name her one of the top twelve up and coming female drivers on the planet.
During the 2010 racing season, Sloan drove to victory lane on two occasions and had 16 top five finishes in only 22 starts. Her on-track performance was enough to earn her the 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Rookie of the Year Award. All this success has put the Franklin, Ohio native on a fast-track to rise through the racing divisions and has set her sights on moving into NASCAR’s elite divisions in the not too distant future.
Sloan’s racing career began at the age of twelve after she suffered a broken jaw while riding a horse. In a move that will leave some people scratching their heads; Sloan’s father decided that horseback riding was too dangerous of an activity and suggested she try her hand at racing. Sloan jumped into a quarter midget and in her first year won over fifty races including The Eastern Grand Nationals. She was also named Quarter Midget Rookie of the year. From 2005 to 2008 Sloan worked her way through the Bandoleros and Legend Car divisions, winning dozens of races and awards along the way. In 2009 when she jumped behind the wheel of a stock car for the first time, it immediately became obvious that Sloan Henderson was something special. Within a year, Sloan was not only competitive, she was winning races.
Sloan describes her driving style as aggressive, but clean. “I try to live my life in a way that hopefully will make people respect me. It takes a lot of trust to race side by side and for the most part, I haven’t had many problems on the track. Once in a while a driver will think than he can push me around because I’m a girl. In those situations, I’m not opposed to putting them into the wall.”
As good as Sloan Henderson is on the track, her off track persona is even more impressive. She’s open and up front about her faith. “My father and I pray before every race. This doesn’t mean we’re perfect. It means we know what direction we’re all heading. You may see us get mad at times and even do something we shouldn’t. But after we cool off and the cameras stop rolling, we will ask for forgiveness. We believe that winning at life is as important as winning on the track.”
Sloan just graduated from Dayton Christian High School where she was active with the “Worth Waiting For” program. She also is actively involved the “Make A Wish Foundation. She chose the charity because they had helped two of her cousins in the past and wanted to give something back on their behalf. Last year Sloan traveled to Cleveland to grant a wish for a young boy. She is also involved in “Susan G. Komen for the Cure” and the “Lyn St. James’ Women in the Winner Circle Foundation.”
Sloan is a fan favorite wherever she races, but her popularity isn’t restricted to the track. Her home town of Franklin, Ohio has honored her with a “Sloan Henderson Day” and chose her to be the Grand Marshall at the city’s July 4th parade. Sloan was also given the honor of rededicating a local historical bridge. She does a weekly update for a local radio station and co writes a weekly column that appears in five local newspapers. Sloan takes her local celebrity status in stride. “My friends in high school treat me like anyone else. The only difference is that they spent their senior year preparing for college and I spent mine preparing for NASCAR.
In January Sloan was busy testing a stock car for the upcoming ARCA season at Daytona International Speedway. Besides piloting her stock car at over 180 mph around the famed two and a half mile tri-oval, she also was given the opportunity to test for Grand-Am road racing’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
“I’ve been driving ovals my entire career, so I felt right at home at Daytona once I got used to the steep banking in the turns. It was really easier than driving a bad-handling stock car on a short track. I was really excited about the opportunity to drive the road course at Daytona too. I’m so thankful for the chance that NASCAR and Continental Tire have given me to drive in Grand-Am.”
“NASCAR’s had its eye on Sloan for the past few years, explained Compass 360 Racing Team Principal, Karl Thomson. “She’s got amazing raw talent, having progressed to (NASCAR) Whelen within a few short years. She’s also got tremendous marketability and has the potential for a bright future in motor sports. The test was a chance for her to drive a very different kind of car at a very different kind of venue.”
Sloan realizes that with her All-American good looks and early success on the race track, she will be constantly compared to Danica Patrick. “I don’t mind the comparisons,” Sloan admitted. Danica has had some success on the track and has given Go-Daddy.Com worldwide recognition. She really knows how to market herself. I feel that I can make any sponsor’s product a household name too. Don’t get me wrong, Danica, along with Sarah Fisher and Lyn St. James have opened a door and given me a chance to succeed in racing. The only difference is that I won’t be happy with just being competitive. I intend to win.”
Sloan had intended to race the entire ARCA schedule this season before moving up to the elite NASCAR divisions, but when a sponsor backed out due to the poor economy, it forced her to refocus and regroup until a new sponsor comes on board. In the meantime Sloan will race a limited ARCA and USAR Pro Cup Series. “I’m not worried,” Sloan declared. “I have faith in God and believe in the talent he has given me. Things will turn out the way they’re supposed be.”
Sloan is poised to become the next racing sensation in NASCAR. Drivers should be forewarned about being fooled by her disarming smile or her girl next door looks. She wants to win and won’t settle for second place.
Don’t be surprised in few years when you hear the race teams have started to look for the next Sloan Henderson.