What could possibly be more awesome than a classic Mustang? How bout a girl in a classic Mustang doing hot laps around a super speedway? That’s why when Team Mustang Girls, took off on a cross-country road trip culminating at Charlotte Motor Speedway we asked TMG founder Courtney Barber to tell us all about her laps around the famed speedway…
After making it to Charlotte with the Pony Drive it was time for the Mustang 50th Anniversary celebration at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Having driven other tracks like Watkins Glen on similar events, I thought it would be more cruising instead of racing. Well, boy, was I wrong!
I was half asleep at the drivers’ meeting when they caught my attention with, "You must keep your windows down so if anything happens we have easy access to pull you out!” What the hell had I gotten myself into?
Then I started hearing stuff about grades and banks and degrees of incline, and I started to get nervous. But before I had a chance to process it all I was putting on my helmet and getting in line with a bunch of new mustangs. Would my old 1965 Mustang make it on the banks of Charlotte Motor Speedway?
Yes I have put in a bigger engine, and Speed Direct has hooked up my suspension but that doesn't change all the rattling and random noises that pop up when you hit 75 or the fact that my seat belts only work 60% of the time…
Forget all that, I thought, and get excited to do this! The minute I hit the track I could feel the smile on my face.
So far so good and then I saw it... The bank they warned about.
What was it they said to do? Why wasn't I listening to that part? How in the hell am I supposed to get up there? I came around the corner and hesitated.
Am I really going to be the girl that doesn't make it up there? And with that thought I hit the gas and went for it. And for about 10 seconds I thought this is it, this is how I die, in my car flipping it over, but then I realized I was doing it…
I was driving on Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The day was broken into 6, 20 minute sessions, and after the first one I was on a high from coming off the track. And then in comes the jackass…
One little grumpy man from Michigan had to take my high and stomp it to the ground. He proceeded to yell at me about not being able to pass me while out on the track. (Despite 4 other people having no problem passing me) His actual problem? Not being tall enough to see over his own steering wheel.
I knew I wasn't going to be the fastest or the best out there but I didn't want to slow anyone else down or piss anyone off so I went in search of an expert to show me the ropes around CMS.
I walked through the garage and found someone that looked official and told him it was my first time and that I could use some pointers. I also made a point to tell him all about the grumpy old man well within earshot of the little troll himself.
My new friend, Bill, wasn't signed up for that day’s event so he volunteered his son, Brandon, for the ride along. So there I was, still a little shaken, but ready for round 2. Brandon made it all fun again… He showed me the right lines, where to brake, where to be careful, and assured me that the flip feeling when you hit the bank is normal.
After the session was over we were pulling into pit lane and out came the black flag. What did I do now? Well, having a passenger was not allowed until the afternoon sessions. We had it approved inside, but the message didn't make it to the guys outside. They were pissed until Brandon took off his helmet and got their attention. The moment the official saw his face he said, "Oh it's you, go ahead”.
At the Saturday night banquet filled with all the Ford VIPs I realized it wasn't just some random racers that helped me… All of a sudden I heard a special thanks to Bill Dillard from the MC, and I looked up to see the friendly face that saved my day at the track.
Courtney Barber is the driver and founder of Team Mustang Girls. After graduating college with an accounting degree she realized a desk job was not in her future. Now she has turned her passion for cars into a career. Check out her weekly blog featuring other female car enthusiasts and event coverage on StangTV and follow Team Mustang Girls on Facebook.