An update is long overdue… So, to that end, in no particular order here are some things Renee has been up to.
Wall Stadium Speedway
In early June another racing opportunity was born when Renee and veteran team owner Ed Bennett collaborated with several others to bring a Modified to Wall Stadium Speedway (Wall Township, NJ). The group effort came to fruition with an engine by Rob Ormsbee and Tom Martino (MB Race Engines); a chassis from Renee’s long-time team owner Bill Woodman and weekly maintenance by Ed. The team’s first outing came on June 28 at the Garden State Classic – a 125-lap extra distance event.
“It’s an adjustment,” offered Renee in response to being asked her initial thoughts on running Wall. “I’ve run here a few times in a Tour car – but that was several years ago and I obviously don’t remember much. Hopefully I’ll catch on quickly because, like most short tracks, the locals have a real advantage – kind of like Riverhead is or even Riverside Park used to be.”
After twice getting flat-out wrecked in the Garden State Classic, the team returned on July 19 for a regular 40-lap event. Starting from the 12th spot, Renee ran most of the race inside the top-ten. After battling through multiple restarts she came home in the 7th spot.
“I have some things to work on and as a team we have some things to work on in the coming weeks.”
With no set schedule, the team will likely head back to Wall for the August 30 ‘Beach Luau’ show.
Away from the Track
Renee has kept an extremely busy schedule between her 9-5 job with the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Northeast Area Apprenticeship Program, weight training, dressage lessons and her blossoming web design business.
Renee has continued to work various ‘Ride and Drive Programs.’ Most recently she represented Cadillac at the prestigious Greenwich Concours d ‘ Elegance. Aside from her work with consumer events, Renee has additional performance driving programs lined up for the fall.
Carbon-X Fire Retardant Sports Bra
On April 1, ‘Trackrat: Memoir Of A Fan’ was published by Bob Englehart. Bob, perhaps best known as The Hartford Courant’s Editorial Cartoonist, was compelled to explore the world of short track racing after witnessing a tragic accident that claimed the life of Boston-area driver Shane Hammond (Thompson International Speedway – April 6, 2008).
Renee was interviewed extensively for the memoir; the results of which can be found in the ‘Carbon-X Fire Retardant Sports Bra’ chapter, as well as throughout the book. To promote the book, Renee is scheduled to appear at a book signing/panel discussion on September 16 at 7 PM at the Mark Twain House (Hartford, CT). The paperback book is available for purchase on Amazon.
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
On June 24, Renee joined several area teams and drivers at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, CT. Racecars were on display and drivers brought along giveaway items for the young medical center patients.
“To start the day, some of the kids came out to see the cars. Later on, we were able to go into the hospital and visit with patients,” explained Renee. “It’s quite an emotional experience to meet these suffering children and families. The best that we can hope for is that we were able to bring a small amount of joy to their day.”
Indy – Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational
In June Renee was a guest of longtime friend (and 1992 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year) Lyn St. James at the SVRA’s inaugural Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Lyn participated in two events – including the Indy Legends PRO-AM. The Pro-Am was contested on the 2.43-mile Gran Prix Circuit and was open to drivers competing in previous Indy 500s.
Renee spent the weekend cheering Lyn on and catching up with a group of close friends.
Back several years ago, Renee first discovered Hand Kind SCRUB – an industrial strength hand cleaner from KINDERMA. From their initial introduction, Renee and her family were hooked – declaring it the best hand cleaner they had ever used. Fast forward to the summer of 2014, when Renee rekindled her working partnership with KINDERMA inventor Scott Kennedy.
“I met Scott several years ago,” recalled Renee. “They were a product sponsor back then and we’re thrilled to have them back on the race car.” She continued: “In Hand Kind SCRUB, they have a product that is perfectly matched to the racing/automotive market. I think the relationship will work out well for both of us.”
At the track, be sure to stop by Renee’s car – or visit her during autograph sessions – where she’ll be handing out KINDERMA samples.