In late April, 2019 Renee participated in an Unmuffled podcast with RaceDayCT’s Shawn Courchesne.
Renee conducted the interview on the 20th anniversary (April 24, 1999) of her history tour-type Modified win at the now defunct Riverside Park Speedway (Agawam, MA).
While they reminisced about her win, the highlight of their discussion was the current status of women in racing, in comparison to what Renee experienced in her decades making her way in the sport.
During the podcast they also discussed Renee’s absence from on-track activity (attributed in part to the purchase of a horse boarding farm) and what she and husband, Ed Bennett (who is now the Managing Partner of the Tri-Track Open Modified Series), have been up to over the last few years. And their intent to eventually get back on track.
“It kills me when I go to a race and watch. I want to be out there. It’s hard to be a spectator when you think you can be out there and still be competitive,” explained Renee.
The Podcast – Episode 52 – is available on RaceDayCT’s PATREON account (subscription required content). Renee’s 15-minute interview starts at the 26:50 mark.
For the second time this season, Southern Modified Race Tour officials postponed the Friday, June 3, 2016 event at Hudson, NC’s Tri-County Speedway. The makeup date for the Hometown 125 will be announced at a later date.
Through an official announcement, series director Randy Myers said:
With teams scheduled to come from as far away as CT and OH, we felt it would be best to cancel early and allow them time to change their travel plans and reservations. We are sorry for the loss of the event but we will work with TCMS officials to arrange a make-up date.
B.R.A.K.E.S. was tragically founded after NHRA drag racing star Doug Herbert lost his two young sons, Jon and James, in a violent car accident in January 2008. His profound grief led him to create a driving program aimed at preventing other families from experiencing similar heartbreak.
“I was invited to work for B.R.A.K.E.S. up at New England Dragway (Epping, NH) last October and the experience absolutely blew me away,” offered Renee. “When you learn the statistics –automobile accidents are the number one cause of death in teens aged 15-19 – it really drives home the fact that the system our country has in place to train drivers is woefully inadequate.”
“I was just out in Indy a few weekends ago and I’m headed to Englishtown tomorrow night. To have the opportunity to work with teens – to teach them skills that can literally save their lives – I cannot think of a better use of my time.”
In designing their curriculum, B.R.A.K.E.S. focused on the specific types of accidents claiming the lives of teens – enlisting the help of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT, police departments, insurance companies and various local and state agencies – to do so. The 3:1 student to instructor ratio affords a great deal of one-on-one interaction during the four hour course.
Instruction, which far exceeds what’s presented with traditional training, includes:
Drop Wheel/Off Road Recovery
Car Control and Recovery
Other learning experiences vary by school but, include air bag deployment demonstrations, safe driving around tractor trailers/big-rigs, blind spot elimination, as well as presentations from local police and fire-rescue agencies.
“This year, B.R.A.K.E.S. will hold schools in 15 different states. If you have a teen driver in your life – be it a family member, friend, etc. – I would highly urge you to get them enrolled in a B.R.A.K.E.S. class.”