Macy Causey grew up on the racetrack. So it came as no surprise to her parents, Rette and Dee Causey, former drivers themselves, when Macy wanted to follow in their footsteps.
“I always went to the racetrack with my dad.” the 14-year-old says, “When I was 7 or 8, I decided that I wanted to race.”
Her racing roots extend beyond her parents to her maternal grandmother, Diane Teel. Teel, a trailblazer herself, raced in the 1970s and was the first woman towin a NASCAR sanctioned race in 1978.
And like her father, Macy races in the number 33 car.
“It’s the number I always raced and she wanted to keep the same number as her dad,” says Rette Causey.
Macy drives a blue, silver and hot pink Chevrolet SS. Yet despite being two years below driver’s license eligibility, she is able to race legally.
“NASCAR understands that kids start racing young just like baseball recognizes kids [learning the game] start in tee ball,” explains Causey.
The difference between them: cost and commitment.
“Financially, it’s exponentially different than other sports,” shares Causey. “It’s driven by sponsors and financial partners. This particular late model season (8 months long) will cost $75,000. That’s just to race; not cars, tires, pit passes, et cetera.”
Starting seven years ago in bandolero cars, Macy has worked her way up every few years racing arena cars at the Hampton and Richmond Coliseums and most recently late model dirt cars and asphalt models. She’s now eligible for a NASCAR license that will put her on Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia, in the Late Model Stock Car Division for the upcoming season.
“It’s exciting that I’m racing and getting somewhere,” she exclaims. “I’m progressing. I’m a female and I can show everyone else what I can do. And yeah, I’m competitive. People say ‘it’s just a game,’ but I get in to everything.”
She pauses and smiles.
“Who wants to drive a car and get lapped every lap? I don’t want that,” Macy laughs.
She admits to singing country songs to stay focused while on the oval and says she’s won too many races to count in her bandolero and arena cars, but now that she’s racing against adults, she’s ready for her first win against the big boys on asphalt, where she’s the only female in her division.
“A lot of girls think racing is for guys,” she starts, “but they should give it a try.”
Macy hopes to make the NASCAR circuit some day and hopes that kids back in Hampton Roads will remember what she has done for the sport.
“I want kids to feel like they can do it,” she says. “I want them to start young [like I did] and get the experience.”
Despite her hotly competitive nature, she carries herself with humility and credits her success to her support system.
“My friends Kortney Thompson and Makayla Lusk always go with me to my races. They help me get strapped in and get me water and stuff I need,” she says. “After my Nana, my dad and my mom, they’re always there with me.”