(June 6, 2017) The Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter division is a special brand of racing and attracts a special kind of racer. Many of them are young, hard working folks who love being part of the Speedway 660 racing scene. Every week they come to the Geary Woods to put a show for our fans. Allison Hall is one of our most popular Sharp Shooters and she’s getting ready for a 50 lap race this weekend.
A Conversation with Allison Hall
Wade: Can you give us a little background info on your love of racing? How long have you been coming to the races and how and when did you decide it was something you wanted to try?
Allison: I have been going to the races in the Geary Woods since I was seven years old. Believe it or not, it wasn’t something that I ever imagined myself doing, until the day the Kid’s Club drew my name to go for a lap in a race car. I chose to go with Heidi Cooper and it was the coolest thing ever for an 11 year old. I was 15 when I told my parents that I wanted to race, they were surprised it was me who wanted to do it and not my avid NASCAR fan brother. My racing career started the summer I turned 16 and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.Allison always loved cars as a little girl and especially coming to the races. This former Kid’s Club member is now a member of the Speedway 660 driver’s roster!
Wade: The Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter roster is almost exclusively a guy’s club. As a matter of fact, you are the only lady in this division. So how do the guys treat you in the pits and on the track?
Allison: They don’t treat me any different than they would a guy. On and off the track we are all race car drivers. This was the one thing I was scared about getting into racing, other people dividing us because I am a lady racing in a predominantly male sport. Fortunately I race with a great group of guys.Allison has been to victory lane a time or two and is aiming for a feature win in 2017. Who knows, maybe she’ll get there this Saturday night in the Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter 50.
Wade: We’ve got lady drivers in all four of our racing divisions for the very first time this year. What would you say to other ladies, who may be avid race fans, to encourage them to get into the driver’s seat?
Allison: When I first started racing, I barely knew how to drive a car. I got in the race car and had no sweet clue what I was doing, but with support from friends and family I realized that if you put your mind to it, you can do just as well as the guys running out there every weekend. Don’t let anyone tell you that girls can’t drive race cars. Allison (#73) has a new blue paint scheme in 2017. The boys don’t cut her any slack just because she’s a girl. They treat her the same way they treat the other “guys” on the track and Allison wouldn’t have it any other way!
Wade: You had a bad wreck last year. It was one of the worst in any division last season. Your car was demolished and you got banged up pretty good too. What do you remember about the wreck and what made you decide to come back and go racing again?
Allison: Well I didn’t really see it coming, that’s for sure. All I remember is coming out of turn two and seeing dust flying and cars sideways, by the time I saw everything I was already right on top of them. I ended up smashing my knee off of a fuse box and gave myself a concussion too. I honestly wasn’t sure if I wanted to come back, but with a lot of support from my parents, boyfriend and friends, a nice little break and willpower, I was back behind the wheel and am now more comfortable than ever.Allison was involved in one of the worst wrecks at Speedway 660 in 2016. After the cars rolled to a stop, the dust cleared and Speedway 660’s infield rescue snapped into action, everyone was more than a little happy to see Allison get out of the car. She did suffer a concussion, but she’s back again this year stronger than ever.
Wade: Your Mom is your biggest fan and is very proud of you. What does it mean to have her support when you buckle up to go racing?
Allison: It really means a lot to me. She’s the one who gets me pumped to go racing every weekend with her pep talks, the one who doesn’t let me doubt myself, the one who believes I can do anything if I put my mind to it and the one who cares for me when I’m hurt. I definitely wouldn’t be racing if it weren’t for my Momma Bear.Allison and her Mom are pretty tight. Lorri is proud of her daughter and has supported her in competitive dance, cheerleading and now stock car racing.
Wade: What else do you like to do besides racing and what kind of sports and activities did you do growing up?
Allison: I used to dance when I was ten years old. I did hip hop, ballet and jazz. After leaving dance I found myself in cheerleading. I was involved in cheerleading for five years before I decided to start racing. When I was little, I loved playing with hot wheels and legos. I was always jealous about my brother Brandon’s hot wheels collection. My love for driving goes all the way back to when I was very little. Allison was into competitive cheerleading before she got into racing. She loved coming to the races as a fan, but says it’s a lot more fun being out on the track in her little Sharp Shooter!
Wade: Wow that’s pretty exciting. Most people don’t know that competitive cheerleading is pretty intense. It takes hard work, lots of practise, focus, concentration and teamwork. What did you learn in cheerleading that you can bring to racing?
Allison: I learned that it doesn’t matter where you place in competition. The only thing that matters is that you try hard, do your best, have fun and never give up. I also learned that practice makes perfect, and that if you have to believe in yourself to accomplish your goals and get where you want to be.Sometimes you need a little help from your friends! Allison is one of our hardest working drivers and if things don’t go as planed, she works even harder to get back on the track and get after it again!
Wade: We know how important your Mom is to your racing career, but who else helps you out and makes it possible for you to come racing every week?
Allison: It wouldn’t be possible for me to come racing every week if it weren’t for my pit crew, my Dad, my Mom, Ryan, Brian, Dennis, Mallory and Austin. I really appreciate my sponsors: Marijuana For Trauma, Platinum Salon & Spa, Freemans Convenience, Big Daddy’s Towing and Kelly Wicks Physiotherapy. I also want to thank Chuck Gregan and all the folks at the Fredericton Gun Shop for sponsoring the Sharp Shooters.Her Father Blair supports his daughter’s racing career. Looks like Allison is about to kiss her first Speedway 660 trophy!
Wade: This Saturday night we’ve got the Sharp Shooter 50 as our main event. How do you feel going into that race?
Allison: I feel pretty good. We usually run our 20 lap features just before the intermission on Saturday nights, before it gets dark. It’ll be fun running later, under the lights. But our little cars are going to take a lot of stress and punishment out there. But we’ll have fun like we always do, just more of it come Saturday night. I hope to stay out of trouble and hopefully get a good finish. It would be nice to be on the podium for sure.Sharp Shooter racing can a little crazy out there sometimes. Allison has been in the middle of a dust-up here and there, but loves the thrill of our sport and plans to be driving race cars for a long time.
Wade: I know you are pretty happy racing your Fredericton Gun Shop Sharp Shooter right now, but do you ever think about moving up to one of the other divisions?
Allison: I love racing Sharp Shooter right now, but I really would love to ride around in a Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman division car. We’ll keep working hard, improving and hopefully if everything plays out right we might be able to move up in the next few years.
Wade: Thanks for doing this Allison and best of luck for the remainder of the 2017 season.
Allison: Thanks Wade!