NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Honors State Rookie of the Year Natalie Sather
Talent and determination is a beautiful thing. Look no further then Fargo, North Dakota, resident Nataline Sather for poster-girl verification of that claim. Sather raced her first season on asphalt at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington and she had eight top fives, and reached the top ten in all 17 races. She also got a fourth place and one victory. Sather finished '09 as Washington State Rookie of the Year (eligible award drivers must have been first-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Feature Division license holders), and as a successfully fulfilled first year participant in the Drive for Diversity program.
Fargo, North Dakota's Nataline Sather
Nataline Sather achieved Washington State Rookie of the Year in 2009
We asked Sather how her first year racing on asphalt looked from her perspective?
"When I found out that I was going to be racing on asphalt, I knew going into the season, it was going to be challenging. I grew up racing on dirt tracks all around the US, and I had really only raced on asphalt once before, when I was 17, and that was in a go-kart," explains Sather.
"What motivated me the most were guys like Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart. They all started off racing on the dirt and are now very successful on asphalt. Watching NASCAR racing, I've heard the announcers say so many times, 'that was a great save and clearly that's from their dirt racing background.'"
"The entire season was a learning experience. I had to adjust to the differences between the dirt and asphalt and also continue to cultivate racing relationships. I had such an incredible team that helped me to make the transition. As the season progressed, our communication got better, and so did our results. We had our goals at the beginning of the season and we met every one. I learned so very much, I had fun, and not only gained a race team out in Washington, but a family and a lot of friends. Through my eyes it was an AMAZING season."
Exhausted Nataline Sather sleeps in her late model car
Last year was also Sather's first year driving for NASCAR's Drive for Diversity Program and she considered it a great opportunity to have been selected. "The real blessing though, was the incredible team I was chosen by - Total Velocity Motorsports. Not only did I get to race for a great group of people, but again, they made me part of their family," adds Sather.
Growing up Sather's father sponsored a sprint car at their local Red River Valley Speedway in Fargo. She recalls watching drivers like Donny Schatz. She immediately fell in love with everything about racing - the stinging perfume of race petrol - the thundering roar of engines revving-up. It made her heart pound. And from a young age she knew that's what she wanted to do.
"I got started racing go-karts at the age of nine. A family friend saw a flyer at a gas station for a local indoor race and suggested to my parents that it might be something that I should get involved in. My parents and I went to the race and from that moment on we were all hooked."
After winning a Duffy at the IKF Grand Nationals (International Karting Federation) and placing second at the Tulsa Shootout, the Sather family concluded it was time to take it up a notch. In '02 they made the move up to a 360-Sprint Car.
"I continued racing sprint cars right up until I started participating in the Drive for Diversity program and moved to Monroe, Washington," says Sather.
"I have been using K&N products throughout my racing career. Not only have I used K&N products such as air and oil filters and dry sump breathers on my late model, but I also used K&N products on my sprint car. K&N has an outstanding line of products. I am always very confident pulling out on to the racetrack knowing that I have K&N products under my hood."
For the 2010 season Sather will carry on focusing on her dream to continue climbing the racing ladder. "I have been working very hard in the off-season to try and make this a reality," she says.
"This winter I have also really gotten involved with my local children's hospital, and I visited with the young kids about how to never, ever give up. I hope to continue with my racing success and to be able to help more and more kids in the future."
Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.