The off-season from car racing is nearly over in the Pacific Northwest, and for Molly Helmuth it’s coming to a close a bit sooner than she originally thought.
This Sunday the 15-year-old from Seattle will return to pavement racing in the Interstate Batteries Built Tough Enduro at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash., an eight-hour endurance road-course race that pays $4,000 to the winning entry. Evergreen Speedway’s gates will open at 7 a.m. on Sunday, with the endurance race slated to run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. General admission for the covered grandstand is Adults $10, Juniors (11-17) $5 and Seniors and children under 10 are free.
Although the Enduro has been advertised for nearly two months, up to one week ago Molly hadn’t planned on taking part in it. But after the reigning Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series visited an open practice session on March 19 at her home track of Evergreen Speedway, the wheels began to turn in more ways than one.
“Some of the Enduro cars were practicing and I saw some good friends of mine from karting out there; just seeing them made me want to get back on the track,” said Molly. “I already had the rest of a team in my head: Kyle Byers (center in photo at right) and Brandon Scheiber (left) — they are two of my good friends from karting and are both phenomenal racers — but the race was in one week and we didn’t have a car.”
Molly was wrong about the car, as she found out the next day while visiting the shop of her uncle Rod Helmuth. Sitting out front was a Hyundai Tiburon that had been totaled and bought at auction by her uncle for Molly to race in the Enduro. A short test spin proved the car was still drivable, so Molly contacted Kyle and Brandon to see if they were interested in teaming up.
“When she called and asked if I would help with the car and maybe race it, I said ‘Oh, heck yes’ and my dad and I headed right over,” said Brandon. The 16-year-old from Maple Valley, Wash., who has raced karts for five years and in motocross before that, is excited to have the chance to compete in a car. “I’ve been waiting for this opportunity. I’m not sure my dad will like it, because I’ll probably want to race cars after doing it once, but this is going to be my testing ground — the opportunity to see what it’s like.”
It took a little longer to hear back from Kyle, who was kart racing in Arizona, but the 16-year-old from Auburn, Wash., was also thrilled to have the chance to race with Molly and Brandon in the Enduro. Kyle, who has been racing karts for five years and holds several track speed records and championships, was ranked 8th in the nation after competing in the Junior Max category of the 2010 U.S. Rotax Max Challenge Series.
By the time Kyle answered Molly’s text — sending a message that read “You should start taking that car apart because I'll be racing in it!” — the MHR Enduro team had nearly completed preparing the Hyundai to meet the safety requirements for the 8-hour race. All that was left was to add the graphics from the car Molly raced at Evergreen Speedway last season.
“My uncle was unsure about how it was going to look but I said ‘So what, it's a Molly Helmuth car, it has to look good!’” said Molly with a laugh. “We put on the graphics and called it the ‘Picasso car’ since we just slapped on the stickers — but only on one side of the car because we didn’t have enough stickers to go around.”
After the Enduro, Molly will compete in a few more kart events before opening her sophomore season in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series on April 16 at Evergreen Speedway. Assisted by crew chief Roger Habich and lead mechanic Aaron Hoskin — and supported by sponsors Kings Transmission, Security Imaging Corporation, Squires Machine, Novastar Development Inc., Foss MotorSports and Transport Services, B&D Sheet Metal, Jana Helmuth CPA, Fitn Trim, Lynnwood NAPA Auto Parts, Grow With Me Boutique and Pure Power Lubricants — Molly will drive a rear-wheel drive Ford Mustang in the speedway’s Mini-Stock Division as well as a four-cylinder race truck in a handful of Northwest Pro4 Truck Series races this season.
But first, there is an unexpected but exciting race to take part in this weekend and with eight hours, a wrecked and then rebuilt car, and two rookie co-drivers, Molly knows anything can happen.
“I think we will make a good team, especially with our nice-looking Picasso Car,” Molly said. “It should be a fun race and a good experience for all of us; I’m just crossing my fingers we don't wreck the car or something breaks before we reach the checkered flag.”
Interested in finding out how you can become part of the Molly Helmuth Racing team? Contact Mike Helmuth at (206) 819-1501 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
On the Web: For more information on Molly Helmuth, visit www.mollyhelmuth.com, become a fan of “Molly Helmuth Racing” on Facebook, or visit her YouTube channel, RotaxJr92.
To learn more about her sponsors:
Security Imaging (www.securityimaging.com) or call: (877) 369-7033 or (206) 527-8819;
Kings Transmissions (www.kingstransmission.com)
Novastar Development Inc. (www.novastardev.com)
B&D Sheet Metal (www.banddsheetmetal.com)
Foss Motorsports and Transport Services ) (www.fossmotorsports.com)
Jana Helmuth, CPA (www.janahelmuth.com)
Fitn Trim (www.fitntrim.biz)
NAPA Auto Parts, 6127-D 212th SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036 (425) 778-0155
Grow With Me Boutique (www.growwithmeboutique.com)
Pure Power Lubricants (www.gopurepower.com)
About Molly Helmuth: Molly Helmuth has been racing since the age of 11. She started racing go karts in Washington, Oregon and Canada, competing in various events against some of the fastest drivers in the country. In 2010 at 14 Molly became the youngest driver to compete in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini-Stock Division at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash., finishing in the top-five in series points and winning rookie of the year. In late 2010, Helmuth was invited to attend Phase I of the Lyn Saint James Women in the Winner’s Circle Academy and to take part in the Ron Sutton’s Winner’s Circle Talent Search Shoot-Out.
About Security Imaging Corporation: In business since 1996, Security Imaging is a leader in online sales of badge holders, lanyards, photo ID card printers, wristbands and other products. Customers include corporations, military, government, schools and universities, and large and small businesses across the United States and internationally.
The online catalog at www.securityimaging.com displays just a portion of the products available from the company, and customers are encouraged to contact the Security Imaging staff with questions or to request a particular item. Many of the products Security Imaging sells can be customized, making them a low-cost and effective method for marketing in addition to meeting an operational need.
Molly Helmuth Racing media contact: Mike Helmuth, (206) 819-1501, email@example.com