Get To Know Holly Shelto
Get To Know: Holly Shelton – Racing to Win
Holly Shelton grew up a sports fanatic; often shooting hoops, kicking around a soccer ball, running track or playing tennis. Born into a racing family, Shelton also spent a lot of time with her father who served as a crew chief for sprint car drivers on the Northern California racing circuit.
At seven years old, the Gold River, California, native started racing go-karts. By the age of 12, she made the switch to outlaw karts and when she was 16, she quit other sports to focus on racing.
Fast forward to 2018 and at 22 years old, Shelton, who will graduate from California State University, Sacramento with a degree in Criminal Justice this fall, is breaking records.
A Toyota Racing development driver, Shelton competes full-time in the national midget series where in July, she recorded the highest finish for a female driver on dirt after she finished runner-up in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League at Valley Speedway (Missouri).
The Toyota driver broke her own national record that she previously set last year when she finished third in the USAC Racing Series at Lawrenceburg Speedway (Indiana).
“It’s cool making history as a female, but my number one thing is I just want to win,” Shelton told NBCSports.com. “Truthfully, on the track I don’t even remember that I’m a girl. I’m just racing all the guys with the same goal they have – to win.”
That outlook has fueled Shelton’s performance on the race track, but has also given her another role off the race track. A mentor to female drivers.
“It’s both an advantage and a disadvantage to be a girl in a male-dominated sport,” Shelton said in an interview with Speed Sport. “When I’m on the race track, gender doesn’t really matter, but when I’m off the race track I love talking to aspiring girl racers and giving them what advice I can. There are a lot of them coming up through the grassroots levels and through dirt racing right now. Hopefully they can follow in my footsteps and land some big rides and do big things in the future.”
For now, Shelton continues to lead the way as she is set to close out the season with Keith Kunz Motorsports. She will race next at Lake Ozark Speedway in the POWRi double-header on September 1-2.