By Larissa Spencer for OntarioOval.com – Laura Hughes comes from a racing family, so it was no secret that she would one day be racing too. With little experience Laura set out for her first Mini stock heat, not expecting to do all that well, but then she ended up winning that race. I had the chance to come out for the second week in a row to watch Laura race. Friday June 8th Laura won her second heat. When I asked Laura the question “How was winning your second heat in a row” she simply replied with “The car is perfect!” Laura’s luck unfortunately didn’t follow her into the feature race, she got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up with a DNF. Laura is an aspiring racer with a lot of talent. She can be found racing Friday night’s in the Mini Stock Division at Ohsweken Speedway. I had the chance to interview Laura in this edition of ‘Question Session’.
Birthdate: April 25, 1989
Hometown: Hamilton, Ontario
Years in racing: 2012 Rookie season
How did you get your start in racing?
My start in racing began last September when Karl Sault let me take an old bomber out one night. When it was over I was all bummed out and wanted to go again, and it started from there. With a lot of encouragement and advice from (my brother) Jeremy, he decided to put me in his Mini Stock and let me try a crack at the big track.
Your dad use to race, tell me about his career?
Our dad left us a lot of great memories on and off the track. He had a few Challenger series championships and many enduro wins. He was just the quiet guy that showed up, started last, and won. He was a humble humanitarian and we were very fortunate to have him as a father and also an idol to look up to.
You race against your brother Jeremy, what’s that like? Does he take it easier on you since your family or does he race you harder to challenge you?
There’s a 9 year difference between Jeremy and I, so I’ve always been trying to keep up to him since I was a kid. Like a typical big brother he’s always on his toes to challenge me (and usually wins). I haven’t been too close to him on the race track yet, but I’m sure once we’re close together on the racetrack, like a typical little sister, I’m going to try my hardest to keep up to my big brother.
What does racing mean to you?
Racing has always been apart of my family, whether it’s drag racing or oval track racing. Between my dad and Jeremy I was surrounded by race cars and classic re-builds, like my dads two 55 Chevys where I spent a good part growing up in the garage watching and helping when I could.
You captured your first heat win on opening night at Ohsweken Speedway, how did you feel after you won?
Going onto the track in the last position I was not expecting to even finish top 5. I gained a big advantage on the restart and learned that it’s hard to look forward when you’re in first with traffic behind you. When I came off the track I thought…”that couldn’t have just happened..it was my first mini stock heat!” but as soon as I saw Jeremy running to the pits with a grin I figured I had won it. It was a proud exciting moment.
Who makes it possible for you to race each week and who would you like to thank?
Most importantly I owe the biggest thank you to Jeremy. He makes it possible for me to race each week, without him I wouldn’t be on the race track. He’s given me encouragement and advice. I’m a girl that’s not very fluent in speaking “mechanic”, so when I ask a question that makes absolutely no sense, he’s been great giving me an answer… along with a very confused look at first. Haha. Also to Trevor Roszell for towing the car up each week. I’d also like to thank Meghan for always being there when I came off the track with anything I need. Karl Sault for making sure that fun comes first. Davey Boughton for letting me take his car out as well as the Rutherford’s, and everyone there to support my brother and I.
What other tracks would you like to race at during your racing career?
I’ve been to Sunset once and thought it such a well taken care of track, it’s beautiful there and I’d love to take a spin on that track one day.
What are your feelings about being one of few girls in racing?
I don’t have too many feelings about being one of few girls in racing, but I do think it’s a good thing for the sport and brings in more fans like young girls. I know as a little kid I always thought how it cool was to see a girl out there not afraid to get dirty and put their foot to the floor.
You’ve taken Davey Boughton’s Pure Stock out at Flamboro Speedway during practice, do you prefer racing on dirt or asphalt?
Taking Davey’s car out gave me a little more confidence about racing dirt, and I think I’m pretty much all for the tracks. I love sliding around and not touching the breaks.
What are your plans for this season and seasons to come?
This season is all about learning for me. I still have so much to take in and learn, and some great people helping me along the way. One day I’d love to be in a Thunder Stock… but that one day is far, far away.
Stay tuned for the next edition of “Question Session”. If you are a driver, team member or track official and would like to be considered for an upcoming edition of “Question Session” please CLICK HERE to contact us.