What happens when your off track schedule becomes hectic and your family has been involved in racing over 30 years? Well, meet Cassandra Coates. The 18-year-old driver hailing from Ledyard, CT has just that problem. Her 2016 schedule includes starting College at SCSU (studying Early Childhood Education) in the Fall being a participant in the Miss Southern New England Pageant in July (July 23-25) as well as driving her 2004 Chevy Silverado #78 on the Mr. Rooter New England Truck Series.
Coates is starting her third year behind the wheel of her truck and as of now is not planning on running a Full-Time schedule but the focus being on school. Her studies have earned her credentials on the Dean’s List at the Three Rivers Middle College in Norwich, CT. “School is my main focus, I don’t really run a full-time schedule because of school,” summed up Coates. “I use the racing to actually bond with my dad when I’m home from school,” explained Coates.
Her Dad (Allen) has either raced it or has visited victory lane at one of the three speedways. Coates has seen her Dad win the Funkmaster Flex Race (New London – Waterford Speedbowl), watched him capture the New London – Waterford Championship as well as a Championship at Thompson Speedway. Coates’s brother Corey also races in the family and he can be seen behind the wheel of his #29 Limited Sportsman. For Coates, she wasn’t really interested in racing until her brother (Corey) started racing. So you can see, Coates is not a stranger to the racing scene by any means.
Her very first career start was at the New London – Waterford Speedbowl at the age of fourteen and finished a respectable eleventh place finish. “I drove 4-Wheelers but never raced them, the truck was my first racing experience,”explained Coates on her start in racing.
In 2016 sees her starting her third year racing a truck and in her career as a driver. To date, she has run ten to fifteen races and she earned the honor of the first female driver to run the road course at the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. That’s the event she has earned her best finish of her career the third place. Also with that third place finish as was a big achievement in racing as well she beat both her dad and brother in the event. So if you ask her what’s her favorite track by far her answer will not only be the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, but the oval at Thompson is on the top of that list.
Of course, drivers goals are to win races as in Cassandra’s case but her main goal is to race and have some fun but mainly to keep her truck in one piece. Cassandra wanted to thank her dad for the time and effort that not only spends on his truck but keeping her truck up to par as well.
Not to mention how she competes against some of the best drivers’s in the Mr. Rooter New England Truck Series but she’ll be competing for the Miss Southern New England being held in Springfield, MA against 580 women. “I was nominated for the pageant and went for the interview and now I’m competing in the pageant,” Coates said of her pageant schedule.
Coates right now is searching for sponsors for her truck, her Dad (Allen) both owns and is the Crew Chief for her racing deal. Heading her crew is (Mom) Lori, (Brother) Carey, Kevin Herman, Steve Scaper, Phil Evans (Uncle) Joe Coates and Bo Norman
You can find Coates on Social Media you can contact her at her Facebook Page @Coates Racing or on Twitter @Coates_Racing.
For Coates racing may be in the family roots but for her is time spent with her dad and doing things that her dad enjoys. Whether it’s at the New London – Waterford Speedbowl or the Road Course at Thompson, Coates is going to give her all.
Stay tuned as we’ll will be updating her ventures from her busy 2016 schedule. Just think about it how cool would it be to have the Miss Southern New England pageant winner behind the wheel of a truck racing at your local speedway?
Story by Alan Piquette
Photos by Passing Bird Photography