By Ken Bruce
It was a historical moment on Friday night at Big Diamond Speedway when, for the first time ever at the track, a feature event consisted of all girls. It happened in the Big Creek Crate 602 Rookie feature when McKenzie Smith, Danica Getz, and Brittany Edgar took the green flag for the 15-lap race. Danica Getz was the winner of the race, getting her first ever win, but the moment was not just about Danica getting the win; instead, it was a proud moment for all three drivers.
“It was awesome to be able to get my first win tonight,” said a jubilant Danica Getz after her win. “I was so excited, I couldn’t even breathe. I honestly had no idea about it being all girls until they came over the radio and told us, and then I thought, wow, this is such an honor to be out here with these other two women in this sport. I mean, this is a male-dominated sport; everyone knows it. But for it being the three of us out there, it was pretty cool.”
The driver of the No. 555, McKenzi Smith, echoed the same sentiments when I asked her what it was like to race in a feature event consisting of all girls.
“I thought it was awesome,” said Smith after the night was over. “It was a big thing just because there are not too many women in this sport, and racing an all-girl feature tonight with Danica and Brittany meant a lot to me.”
The third member of the all-girl Crate Rookie feature is Brittany Edgar, wife of Crate Sportsman driver Brandon Edgar, who also works in the tower doing scoring on most Friday nights. Unbeknownst to this writer, Brittany ran microsprints for many years, and that is where she and Brandon met. The mother of one has been out of a racecar for a long time but decided it was time to get back to racing and choose a full-body stock car to make her return to the sport.
“It was so much fun getting back to racing in the Crate Rookie division tonight,” said Edgar after the feature. “I didn’t know what to expect getting into the big car, and Brandon said you should just do it and have fun with it, and I am really glad I had the opportunity to do so. I am definitely glad we rained out last Friday so I was able to get some practice in before I was in an actual race, so we went to BAPS on Wednesday just so I could get the feel for the car and understand how big I am in this thing after running little cars for so long. But yeah, tonight was a lot of fun.”
Being part of an all-female race was something that Brittany was proud of.
“To have three females, and obviously we were the only ones here, but I think even if there were some boys, we would’ve been the top three anyway,” explained Edgar. “But it feels good to be a part of something like that, and I hope it helps bring more female representation to the sport in the future, and hopefully the three of us can kind of set the tone for other girls so they don’t have to stop racing after micro sprints and quarter midgets. Maybe one of them can someday get in a big modified and show the boys how it is done.”
Getting in the car this late won’t lead to too much racing after Friday, but Edgar hopes to be able to get back in and continue her learning curve next year at Big Diamond.
“With having our daughter in December, I didn’t want to commit to a full season this year,” mentioned Edgar. “Next year, I am still undecided about how much I want to commit to it with her, and I know that with Brandon getting a modified, he wants to make a go of that, and I want to support him, so maybe we will run a couple of shows here and there. I told my dad if we did race, it was definitely not going to be in a 270 sprint, so I don’t know what that means as far as us getting our own crate (modified) or what the deal is, but we will talk about that in the off-season, I guess.”
Brandon and Brittany Edgar have competed against each other in the past, and Brittany was glad they were in different divisions on this night.
“When we ran micro-sprints, that is how we met and raced against each other in 270’s for the first half of our relationship at least,” explained Edgar. “So, I didn’t think I would ever get to be in a car the same night as him again on a race night. It was cool to get ready together, get strapped in, and pack the track together, and like I said, that was not something I ever thought we would get to do again, so that was a lot of fun. I am definitely glad we are not in the same class, because we tend to get a little competitive against each other, so it’s better off this way, I think.
Going to practice at BAPS last Wednesday was a big help to Brittany, as she explained.
“My initial thought process at practice was to follow Brandon around, but their other cars ended up being two other cars there, so it didn’t really work out that way that we could be nose to tail as much as we wanted to, and I wanted him to get laps. And for me, it wasn’t about running good laps but just getting behind the wheel and learning the gas pedal, the reactivity, and how much speed this thing carries, so the first session I just putted around and gradually got in the gas. Each session I got into it more and more, and by the last two sessions I was full throttle down the straightaways. Each of us was just doing our own thing, but certainly he (Brandon) would watch the video and tell me to get off the gas sooner or whatever, and I would apply that to the next session.”
If plans come together for Brittany, she would like to try her hand back at Big Diamond next year, racing in the Crate Rookie division.
“I would like to run in the rookies next year,” cited Edgar. “I don’t know about jumping right into the regular 602’s next year. There are a lot of guys in that division who have done that for awhile, and I don’t think I am at that caliber yet and certainly don’t want to be in anyone’s way while I am still trying to figure this out, so I will probably run the rookies again so I can have more space and more of an opportunity to feel the car out on this track and learn how to run a big car. I would like to graduate out of the rookies; I graduated out of quarter midgets, and I think it is a really big milestone to do some like that again.”
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