WINNEMUCCA, Nev. – Kaitlyn Sample drove 6-1/2 hours every weekend of the season just to get to the shop and work on her IMCA Modified.
Then she traveled to nine different tracks in four states to earn rookie of the year honors in IMCA’s Shaw Race Cars Western Region.
“That was definitely a huge accomplishment,” said Sample, who collected eight of those top five’s in the second half of the season. “I came a long ways from my first race. Winning rookie of the year was one of my biggest accomplishments this season.”
Sample is the younger sister of two-time regional champion Cory Sample and drove his 2018 Razor that “fell into her hands.” She had about a month to get the car ready for 2021.
“I raced a go kart for one year about 10 years ago and grew up around Cory and his racing,” said Kaitlyn, who earned her dental hygienist degree in December and made the commute from Sun Valley, Idaho, to the family base in Winnemucca, Nev., on weekends. “My brother and my dad both wanted me to start in another class. I wanted to show them I can race with the boys.”
She was third in points at Battle Mountain Raceway and fourth at both Lovelock Speedway and Winnemucca Regional Raceway.
“I usually traveled with Cory and it helped to have him there. It helped my confidence and it was good to have him right there to answer my questions,” said Sample. “I like racing with him, too. I beat him in a heat race. Now I want to beat him in a main event.”
The third female driver to win IMCA Modified regional rookie of the year honors and the second to do so in the West, she’ll start the 2022 season close to home and travel back to the Midwest in September.
“I hope to start next year at Winter Nationals (at Cocopah Speedway’s Winter Nationals), hit some different tracks and have fun with it,” she said. “I made my first trip to Super Nationals this year to watch and take notes. There’s a whole different caliber of competition and drivers at Boone. I hope to go back next year and compete with them.”
Starts-42 Wins-0 Top Fives-10
Her Crew: Father Rodney, brother Cory and Eddie Poole.
Her Sponsors: Parents Rodney and Anne and Cory Sample Racing, Winnemucca; Dakota Diesel, Battle Mountain; Reno Rock Transport, Reno; and The Pastime Club, Truckee, Calif.