If a girl can do it, why not a guy?
That’s a point Beth Schwendtner says she drives home with every race she competes in, particularly after the off-road racing circuit helped her climb to number one in her sport.
When Schwendtner, 18, won an off-road race at Tortola, the British Virgin Islands in September, she was all the more thrilled because she had never driven in a male-dominated sport, or race against men.
That was what it took for her to triumph over her toughest competition: herself.
“There’s never any time to feel like you’re getting to feel good about yourself because the pit stops are long and the overall pace is fast,” Schwendtner says. “Every lap is hard and every lap is really, really fast.”
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, boys are twice as likely as girls to compete in professional athletic activities.
Still, Schwendtner points out that she’s far from unique.
In fact, her father, Ben, created the Competition Racing Association, which features some of the best drivers in the world, especially among men. While several who race against him are boys, he says it’s nothing personal. In fact, he claims to be the grandfather of female racers.
“I really feel like we’re just opening a new door for women in endurance racing. People think I’m trying to have a gender war. But I just hope to expand the game and make women’s racing more rewarding,” Ben Schwendtner says.
“My dad was the first female racer to break in and now that I’ve broken through, I’ve gained a lot of respect from other male drivers.”
Beth Schultheis is a journalist based in Las Vegas. She currently covers crime, gambling, and public safety for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter: @bethschwendtner.