At the $100,000 Summer Showdown presented by Coors Light on June 27 & 28 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington, a new record could be set.
In the 60-year history of this fabled race track, never before have more than two women started a Super Late Model race. That will possibly be broken with the potential of four women starting the 200-lap Summer Showdown.
With over 50 cars from all over the US and Canada expected, just making the Summer Showdown will be tough enough for male or female. The four women drivers are very capable of handling this tough assignment.
Molly Helmuth (Seattle, WA): A regular Super Late Model driver at Evergreen Speedway has the most track experience at her home track. In her third season of racing the big cars the petite young 19 year old has proven to be able to handle the car and the pressure of racing with the big boys. After racing karts in her early life she graduated to running in the Mini-Stock Division at Evergreen where she became a fan favorite at only 14 years old when she became Rookie of the Year. During her two year stint in the Mini-Stock she also traveled the Northwest in a Pro 4 Truck. Moving up to the Super Late Model Stock Cars in 2012 where she became the NASCAR State of Washington and Evergreen Speedway Rookie of the Year and was named one of NASCAR’s top 500 Late Model Drivers. Last season she finished 6th in the points out of 41 drivers in the Evergreen Speedway NASCAR Whelen All American Series Super Late Model Division. She started in the last two Summer Showdowns. More information about Molly at www.mollyhelmuth.com.
Jessica Dana (Olympia, WA): The 19-year old has the second most experience on the BIG track the 5/8-mile oval at Evergreen Speedway. She is also a two time entrant of the Summer Showdown. She started in Karting and quickly moved to Super Late Model Stock Cars at her home track South Sound Speedway. Jessica has beaten the best during her brief Karting career including NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon, Kenny Wallace, Travis Pastrana plus other top Karting drivers. With strong determination on and off the track Jessica has set lofty goals that she just may obtain. A strong run in the 2014 Summer Showdown will go a long ways towards obtaining them. More information about Jessica at www.jessicadanaracing.com.
Mariah McGriff (Tucson, AZ): The 18-year-old granddaughter of NASCAR Legend Hershel McGriff was born in Portland, OR. Mariah will be making her first trip to Evergreen Speedway as a Super Late Model driver. Her home track is NASCAR’s newest Home Track Tucson Speedway, the former Tucson Raceway Park. This being her first season in the big cars she is the Speedway’s Rookie of the Year and finished fourth in the standings. An honor roll student throughout her time in school, she is now attending college along with racing. She has helped maintain her grandpa’s K&N Pro Series West Car along with her own Super Late Model.
Her life has been around racing in all different aspects starting with her Uncle Tex Powell founder/owner of Tex Racing Enterprises in North Carolina which maintains and builds transmissions for most NASCAR teams. Her aunt Debbie is married to Chuck Bown, the 1990 NASCAR Busch Series Champion and drove a NASCAR Craftsman Truck and Cup Series Car for many years. Another uncle, Doug McGriff was a racer in Oregon winning the Oregon Auto Racing Association Late Model Division Championship. Her dad, Hershel McGriff Junior, has won multiple races in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and California, and was the 1990 NASCAR Northwest Tour Rookie of the Year. Hershel Jr. opened a fabricating shop in 1982 named JR Industries, where Mariah spent much of growing up years.
Her grandfather Hershel McGriff holds many records in his long NASCAR career and is in the NASCAR history books. Including the most wins (14) of any driver at the old Riverside Speedway in California. He was the 1986 NASCAR Winston West Series Champion (Now the K&N Pro Series West) and raced competitively until the age of 83. Hershel was also one of NASCAR’s 50 best named to the top 50 Legends of NASCAR along with many other titles and racing history. The whole family will be coming to Evergreen Speedway for Mariah’s debut where her Grandfather Hershel will be the honorary Grand Marshal of the 2014 Summer Showdown. More information about Mariah at mariahmcgriff.com.
Nicole Behar (Otis Orchards, WA): The youngest of the four at just 16-years old. Nicole started going fast at 2 years old on a snow mobile, and is now an 11th grader at East Valley High in Spokane Valley. Her home track is Stateline Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho. She started in the Baby Grand Division quickly moving up to Fever Fours and on to 2900 lb. Super Late Models. On her way to the top she won 6 karting championships including an IKF Region 6 Gold Cup Series. She broke the Stateline track record 5 times in the Fever Four Class. Moving to the Super Late Model in 2012 was no problem for the young lady winning her first race in her rookie year and became Rookie of the Year and finished runner-up in the points. Not satisfied with just running big races in the Northwest Nicole has also run some Modified events with great success. In 2013 Nicole was one of the 20 drivers selected to attend NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia.
Nicole in very short time has become a threat no matter what track she has raced at, even those that she has never been to before. Nicole will be making her first trip to the BIG track at Evergreen Speedway in this year’s Summer Showdown. More information about Nicole at www.nicolebehar.com.
There is the potential of more women joining these four as entries are still coming in for the 2014 $100,000.00 Summer Showdown presented by Coors Light on June 27 & 28. The 200-lap race for Super Late Models has drawn nationwide attention with drivers from throughout the US and Canada entered for the $20,000-to-win event.