Stirling, ON- There are a number of places where you might expect to find a 13 year-old young lady, like hanging out with her friends, at the mall or playing video games. While most wouldn’t think to look for a girl her age steering a stockcar around a speedway known as Canada’s Toughest 1/3rd Mile Oval, that’s exactly where Stirling, Ontario’s Willow Barberstock loves to spend her Saturday nights.
A recent graduate of the 8th grade at Stirling Senior School – who will attend Bayside Secondary School in the fall – Willow is midway through her rookie season in the Battlefield Equipment Four Fun division at Peterborough Speedway. While this is her first year behind the wheel of a racecar, her resume also includes time spent with the Mosport Karting group at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It may be a starting point of her career, but Willow Barberstock has some big plans for her future in the sport.
“I’m having a lot of fun, but I’d like to move up through the ranks and hope to eventually win a track championship in a stockcar,” said Barberstock. “I know I still have so much to learn, but just being around the other racers has been a great experience. They’re all so friendly and always willing to help. Everyone offers advice geared to making the car run better and tips to push me up the next rung on the ladder.”
Like so many of today’s crop of young racecar drivers, the apple that sparked Willow Barberstock’s desire for competition and fuels her internal fire didn’t fall far from the family tree.
Her grandfather, Randy Hollingsworth, competes with the Techtonix Open Wheel Modifieds at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway, while her uncle Dave Barberstock wheels a Pro Late Model machine at Brighton Speedway.
At the track and in the shop, her car – which carries #62, the same number her grandfather uses – is maintained by Randy Hollingsworth, Jim Brix and Scott Simpson. One of Willow’s biggest supporters and her head cheerleader on raceday is best friend Rene Ashbury.
“It’s been a great experience so far and I can’t wait to get to the speedway and climb back behind the wheel for the next race,” said Willow, who enjoys soccer and volleyball in her time away from the track. “There’s a tremendous adrenaline rush just coming off the 4th turn to take the green flag. Sometimes, I need to remember to be patient and pay attention to everything that’s happening around me and let things develop. Earning the respect of my fellow competitors is very important. I want the other drivers in the field to be as comfortable racing around me as I am around them.”
Willow Barberstock’s 2013 season is supported by RB’s Auto Recyclers, Jenn Munro Photography, Ontario Modifieds Racing Series, Bella Ever After; Becoming Accessories for Becoming Women and Sidney Auto Wreckers, with promotional assistance from Clarke Motorsports Communications. Prospective marketing partners can contact the team via email@example.com for more information and follow the driver at www.facebook.com/pages/Willow-Barberstock.
Prepared by: Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media