Shannon McQueen of Tehachapi, Calif. is the 2012 recipient of USAC’s prestigious Kara Hendrick Spirit Award. The award was presented today at Lyn St. James’ “Women in the Winners Circle” gala, held at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, Ind. in conjunction with the Indianapolis Motorsports Industry Show (IMIS).
The 34-year-old McQueen won USAC’s 2012 Mopar Western Midget Series championship, outpointing runner-up David Prickett of Fresno, Calif. by 149 points. Her championship makes her only the fifth female driving champion in USAC’s 57-year history! Previous USAC female driving champs were Sondi Eden (2004 Speedrome Midgets), Christine Beavis (2006 International Rally), Jessica Clark (2011 Ford Focus Midget) and Taylor Ferns (2011 D1 Midget).
A veteran of USAC Midget racing for the past 10 years, McQueen competed in 16 events during 2012 and recorded nine “top-five” finishes on her way to the championship. Her title marked her seventh “top-10” ranking and in 2007 she posted a USAC Western Midget feature victory at Madera, Calif., a victory which stood alone in the 30-year history of the series until Michelle Decker’s victory at Bakersfield this year – DRIVING FOR SHANNON!
Shannon’s award honors the memory of one of USAC’s most accomplished female drivers, Kara Hendrick, who posted a pair of USAC TQ Midget feature wins before tragically losing her life during a USAC Western Midget event at El Cajon, Calif. in 1991. In 1994 a scholarship was established in Kara’s memory and is awarded to a female driver in the Lyn St. James Driver Development Program.
Previous winners of the Kara Hendrick Award, established in 2003, are Jessica Bean, Taylor Ferns, Lynsey Tilton, Alison MacLeod, Stephanie Mockler, Melanie Troxel, Sondi Eden, Erin Crocker and Sarah McCune.