ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — One of the most unique competitors in this weekend’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300 will be 15-year-old Katie Hettinger. At her young age, she is already a successful competitor having won the 2020 Champion Racing Association (CRA) Junior Late Model Series title to become the first and only female champion in the CRA’s 25-year history. In September 2021, Hettinger became the youngest female race winner at North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway. Since then, Hettinger has won four more Late Model races at Hickory this season to become the winningest female racer in the track’s 72-year history. She is set to race in the ARCA Menards Series West.

“I definately do live the life a lot of my friends do, that is for sure. I got the whole rock star life style going on. It is a lot of fun. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. NASCAR is what I want to do. Racing is what I want to do. I am glad I got a lot of support behind me,” said Hettinger.

Katie’s support and love for auto racing came from her grandfather and father as both spent time racing.
Katie first got into a race car at the age of five and has loved it ever since.

“I told my Kindergarten teacher it was in my blood. I have always wanted to race. My dad and grandfather started off in quarter midgets. That is what I started off with when I was 5. I started off in quarter midgets and then when I turned ten, when I started racing with the girls on dirt. Then i switched back to junior late model in 2019 when I won the championship in 2020. Then I started running limited and mid stocks,” said Hettinger.

This weekend at the Martinsville speedway, comes Katie’s biggest test. racing on the paperclip in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300. This will be Katie’s first ever time to race at Martinsville. She is one of 82 drivers looking to qualify for the feature race.

“I am kind of nervous, like I said there are a lot of great drivers so hopefully we can perform well. I have watched some of the late model races the last couple of years. Josh Berry I watched him race and stuff like that. I am happy I will finally get to race at the track,” said Hettinger.

With the limited number of women in motorsports, Katie wants to be an example to all women with dreams of getting a checkered flag!

There are many I do not talk to or I can get help from. So one goal of mine when I make it to NASCAR I would come back and I would own a dirt team and a late model team. I want to be an owner or driver development team because I want to be that mentor with young drivers coming up or they can ask me questions I can help them make their dreams come true!