By Kenny Dejohn
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Women continue to make inroads in auto racing. There are three female drivers in Riverhead’s NASCAR events and several others are competing in the track’s truck and Enduro car races, which are not affiliated with NASCAR.
Alyssa Paprocky still is learning what it takes to succeed behind the wheel of a race car, but people at Riverhead Raceway are already talking about the 22-year-old driver from Coram.
Paprocky is the only female driving full-time in NASCAR events at Riverhead Raceway. She drives a stock car — an ordinary car that has been modified for racing — in the Blunderbust Division.
Though she hasn’t won the checkered flag in her 16 career races, she is ranked 11th out of 21 drivers entering the Sept. 2 card at Riverhead.
“When I got into racing, I wanted to be appreciated and respected not as a girl, but as a racer,” said Paprocky.
“When I get in the car and put the helmet on, the car doesn’t know if it’s a girl or a guy behind the wheel.”
Women continue to make inroads in auto racing. There are two other female drivers in Riverhead’s NASCAR events and several others are competing in the track’s truck and Enduro car races, which are not affiliated with NASCAR.
NASCAR, which is the highest level of professional stock car racing, has had 16 female drivers in the top-tier NASCAR Cup Series, according to ESPN. Danica Patrick is the most notable, with 178 starts since her 2012 debut.
Though a female driver has never won a Cup Series race, Patrick is the only to win a pole position, which she did it at the 2013 Daytona 500.
Her driving force
Paprocky’s love of racing comes from her father, Joe, 59, who has been around the sport since the early 1970s and has owned, sponsored and raced cars.