Getting Up To Speed With…Gabrielle Hollinger
By Ben Deatherage
(Photo Courtesy of Ken O’Neil)
Despite only being sixteen-years-old Banks native Gabrielle Hollinger has become a force to reckon with in the Womens class at Sunset Speedway Park. In 2013 she would be the only driver to beat the dominant Freya Smith and in nine feature starts she would finish in the top five all nine times as well as ending the season the runner-up in the points table.
The sophomore at Banks High School enters her fourth year of competition at “The Banks Bullring” in 2014. A former Rookie of the Year award winner in the Tracer division Hollinger is a second generation driver following in the footsteps of her father Gene and mother Debbie. This season just may be her year as she looks to build off of 2013. Now let’s get up to speed with Ms. Gabrielle Hollinger.
Driver: Gabrielle Hollinger
Home Track: Sunset Speedway Park
Hometown: Banks, Oregon
Occupation: Student at Banks High School
Years Racing: 3
Chassis: 1972 Pontiac Firebird
Sponsors: All-In Property Investments, Duncan Automotive, Avenue Title Company, Jeremy Martin Racing, Ed Bruce Racing, Walters Racing
Special Thanks: Family and Supporters
BD: Last year Gabrielle you were the only driver to beat Freya Smith on the track. That has to feel pretty good.
GH: Oh yeah. Especially since I was the only driver to beat her and it was my first win. She was hard to beat and I was beside myself.
Its funny all of my wins have happened on special dates. My first dash win was on my dad’s birthday, my second dash win on Father’s Day, and the feature win was on Fan Appreciation Night and my grandparents were there.
BD: How did you get your start in the sport of racing?
GH: My family has been friend with the Walters family for years. My dad raced a little and my mom raced once. My dad one day asked me if I wanted to build a car and I was all for it. My first season I was in the Tracers and have been in the Womens class for the last two years.
BD: Do you think you may move up to any other classes in the future?
GH: I don’t know maybe later. As of right now I want to stay where I’m at I think the Womens division is great for me. I’m really super excited for this year because I think I have a good shot for the championship.
BD: What is the story of you running the #60?
GH: It was a random # that my dad gave me when I played football in Middle School. I figured it was a great number to use so I have used it ever since.
BD: You list Banks as your hometown. For someone who has never been there what best describes that town?
GH: Banks is a very small but close community and it’s a great place to grow up. I’ve lived here my whole life and I love it. I wouldn’t imagine living in a bigger area like a city or anything like that.
Sunset Speedway Park enters the 2014 season with an action packed schedule that you do not want to miss out on. The first event of the season is a test and tune play day scheduled to take place on Saturday April 5th while the first race of the year will be held on the 19th. To get the latest information and read the most recent stories regarding SSP log on to www.sunsetspeedwaypark.com.