The Fireball Run is by definition not a race, and it's totally unlike any rally competition in the world, it is in fact a completely riveting, sport and entertainment hybrid, and an original live point-of-interest and destination based American expedition. To navigate the route and score, teams may use anything (and anyone) at their disposal to solve clues, and accomplish missions. Clues incorporate history, road side points-of-interest, attractions, brands, even pop-culture; anything in relation to the team's geographical location.
Holbrook says she's working very hard to reclaim that winning feeling she experienced after her 2011 Long Beach Grand Prix victory.
At the end of 2011 Holbrook partnered with TrueCar, her new sponsor for a multi-year contract, to race in Pirelli World Challenge (Photo - Alison Merion Padron).
"I was immediately on board when I heard the sole purpose of the adventure is to aid in the recovery of missing children," said Holbrook. "The adventure has already aided in recovering 38 and I hope to add to that."
Holbrook was selected to be a celebrity contestant based in part on her infectious charisma, her competitiveness, and most of all her passion to help others. Holbrook won the 2011 Long Beach Grand Prix, becoming the first female to win a touring car race at Long Beach. We talked with Holbrook to get the lowdown on the Fireball Run and to see what's been going on with her.
It sounds oddly kooky yet completely entertaining, give us some insights about the Fireball Run, how exactly does it work?
"Fireball Run brings you to multiple states in only eight days covering 2,500 miles and all for a great cause, aiding in recovering missing children! I'll be competing against some of the top U.S. executives with my lifelong friend and co-driver, Tarah Mikacich, a professional wake boarder. It's the most fun you can have while going the speed limit."
Holbrook graduates from the University of Central Florida this May 5th, and that's a tremendous source of satisfaction for her, knowing she got it done while also meeting her racing obligations.
"I'm very excited and of course ready to rise to the challenge. But the sole purpose of this is to raise awareness and find missing children. We will each receive a child's name and then we do everything in our power to find them. I can't currently give too much information, but my child is a boy named Donald. Just knowing his name now gives me goose bumps. I can't wait to become a voice for him. Teams must use clues to find final destinations and we can use any resources to do so. Therefore, I'll need fan support along the way. I'll be tweeting often (Twitter:@SheaRacing). So what do we win? Bragging rights and lots of publicity! The real win will be aiding in the recovery of missing children."
How did you get involved with the event and what will you be driving?
"They asked me to be a celebrity contestant (ha ha). This year's Fireball Run is empowering women - it's a perfect match for me! In November 2011 I partnered with TrueCar, my new sponsor for a multi-year contract, to race in Pirelli World Challenge. TrueCar Racing has formed the first ever all Women Empowered Racing Initiative. The opportunity to be a part of the Fireball Run couldn't have come at a better time. At this time, I cannot announce the car I'll be driving."
You fired-up 2012 in a big way, with a strong performance at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, what else has been going on with your racing?
"A Top-5 in St. Petersburg was a great start for me and the Shea Racing/Compass360 team. I'm looking to finish extremely well in the championship this year (1stïŠ). My partnership TrueCar, Lucas Oil, Premier Capital, and K&N has meant absolutely everything to me, and because of these relationships I am where I am today."
How is school going and what are some of your other race goals for 2012?
"I graduate May 5th with my Bachelors in Sciences, majoring in Interpersonal and Organizational Communications, and a minor in marketing from the University of Central Florida. I'm literally flying home to walk at graduation. But I wouldn't miss it for the world. It was my goal to get my four year degree in four years on top of racing - and I did it! It was very difficult (especially this year), but I got it done. I'm actually being honored in the commencement ceremonies... so cool!"
"As for my racing goals, I'm really focusing on becoming a great driver. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life, so being talented behind the wheel will help. For the first time I have the appropriate resources to do so. For example, I actually currently have two private driver coaches I'm working with, a wonderful team and support system, and of course fantastic fans. I do feel I have it in me to win the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Championships - this is an ultimate goal of mine. At the end of the day, I need podiums. I tasted what it was like to win a race in 2011 at the Long Beach Grand Prix and now all I want is to feel the way I did on that day - all the time."
You can follow Holbrook as her eight day adventure unfolds September 21-29, 2012. She will need your help along the way uncovering clues and she may be coming to a city near you. Cities include: Independence, Ohio, Monroesville, Pennsylvania, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, Watertown, New York, Waterbury, Connectect, and Bangor, Maine.
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