Indianapolis, INDIANA (December 10, 2015) – The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), the leader in promoting sports, health and education for girls and women, made a pit stop at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade show to recognize two up and coming racers.
Courtney Crone and Makala Marks were recognized under the WSF Women in the Winners Circle Project Podium Grant designed to help young racers overcome the business challenges unique to motorsports. The original project, created in 2007, was the work of Lyn St. James. St. James, a former Indy 500 competitor has done more to help promote young women in racing than anyone else. In 2013 St. James teamed up with the Women’s Sports Foundation to extend the program reach, and to remind America that a racecar does not know or care if the driver is a man or a woman. In motorsports, the fastest racer wins, regardless of gender.
Women racers were encouraged to apply for matching funds to advance their career though a formal application and review process. Motorsports professionals reviewed the applications, did their own homework to research the applicants, and discussed their observations Crone and Marks were selected.
Courtney Crone, age 14, from Corona, California started racing at four-years old and 2015 is her 11th season of racing. In 2016 Crone will race in the Perris Auto Speedway Young Gun series, expand her sprint car racing to several other tracks including some USAC West Coast 360 events, start racing USAC midgets including the Turkey Night Grand Prix and testing a Formula Mazda to start her road racing career.
Makala Marks, age 13, from Indianapolis, Indiana, was born into a racing family on qualifying day of the Indy 500 in 2002. Marks was always ready to compete against the boys in whatever activity they were doing and began racing karts at age eight. In 2012, she won nine races and over 20 podiums in her Junior Sportsman rookie year. For 2016 Marks is looking to challenge for the Yamaha Junior CAN championship at the New Castle Motorsports Park.
Crone and Marks will each receive $2,500 in support for their 2016 season racing. Each will also have access to the WSF Motorsports Mentors to assist them during the year when outside expertise is needed.
“It’s amazing to think that this all began with an idea and a donation from Paul Newman’s Foundation. The applicants this year were quite diverse and the judges spent considerable time in getting the list down to our final two. Our next objective is to increase our corporate support to help the best and the brightest and to bring more talented women into the sport in 2017 and beyond”, noted Lyn St James.
About Women’s Sports Foundation
The Women’s Sports Foundation, founded in 1974, is the leader in promoting sports, health and education for girls and women. With Billie Jean King as its founder and ongoing visionary, the Women’s Sports Foundation continues to have a profound impact on female athletics, from its vigorous advocacy of Title IX legislation to providing grants and scholarships, grassroots programs for underserved girls, and groundbreaking research. An agent for change, the foundation has relationships with more than 1,000 of the world’s elite female athletes and is recognized globally for its leadership, vision, strength, expertise and influence. For more information, visit: www.WomensSportsFoundation.org. Follow the Foundation at: www.Facebook.com/WomensSportsFoundation or on Twitter(@WomensSportsFdn).