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Shannon McQueen Debuts Kara Hendrick Tribute Car at 2016 Chili Bowl Nationals

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Shannon McQueen Kara Hendrick Tribute car 2016 Chili Bowl Midget Nationals

Shannon McQueen had announced that she would drive a special Kara Hendrick Tribute car in 2016, and the team released pictures of the tribute car prior to the 2016 Chili Bowl Midget Nationals

K&N filters sponsored midget racer Shannon McQueen is an accomplished racer known for being the first female driver (2007) and owner/driver (2012) to win a USAC midget feature, as well as championships with USAC Western States (2012) and the Bay Cities Racing Association (2011). But while Shannon has earned her stripes she is quick to credit the late Kara Hendrick with paving a path for women in USAC competition.

"Kara opened doors for female drivers like me," said McQueen. Though McQueen is credited as the first female driver to win a USAC midget feature, and championship, Kara was certainly moving in that direction before her unfortunate passing. While McQueen is proud of her own success she acknowledges Kara's accomplishments saying, "I never would have been the first female driver to win a USAC Western States Midget feature or championship because Kara would have already done it."

Shannon McQueen to pilot K&N filters equipped Kara Hendrick Tribute car in over 30 USAC events

Following the Chili Bowl Nationals Shannon McQueen plans to pilot the K&N filters equipped Kara Hendrick Tribute car in over 30 USAC events for the 2016 racing season

In October 1991, after setting a new track record at El Cajon Speedway, Kara lost her life in a racing accident at just 22 years old. In 1989, Kara had finished second in the USAC three-quarter midget series point standings, the highest finish ever for a female driver. At the time of her death, Kara was just getting started in what looked to be a promising racing career. Who knows what Kara might have accomplished had she not been taken at such a young age.

McQueen had announced that she would drive a special Kara Hendrick tribute car in 2016, and the team released pictures of the tribute car prior to the 2016 Chili Bowl Midge Nationals. However, when Shannon McQueen arrived in Tulsa, Oklahoma it was evident that pictures just couldn't do the car justice. It's an identical copy of the car that Kara was driving when she tragically lost her life, right down to the blue mud covers and "Kara" on the arm guard.

While the results of the Chili Bowl may not have been what Shannon hoped for, the outpouring of support from the Hendrick family and friends has been more than overwhelming. With Renee Hendrick, Kara's mom, and Kenny Hendrick, Kara's twin brother, standing by, Shannon McQueen paid a most respectful tribute to her childhood hero at the Mecca of midget racing, the 30th Annual Chili Bowl Nationals. After the Chili Bowl McQueen plans to compete in over 30 events, including midget and 360 sprint car racing with the USAC Western States Midgets and the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars.

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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 50 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.