Chasing the Dream: Carrie Whitmore
A passion that began generations before her, Carrie Whitmore was born with a love for NASCAR racing through her veins.
"When I was growing up, my parents and grandparents were huge NASCAR fans," said Whitmore. "There were a lot of Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, and Dale Jarrett fans between us."
Whitmore's first real exposure to the sport came at a somber time, at Rockingham Speedway in February of 2001, right after the death of one of NASCAR's greatest drivers: Dale Earnhardt
"I remember seeing his memorial at The Rock," she said. "I was 7 years old and didn’t quite understand then, but now I know what an important moment it was in the sport. It changed the sport forever."
It was her freshman year in high school when she realized that the world of motorsports was going to be her permanent home. She joined her schools newspaper her sophomore year and by her senior year, she had earned the title of Sports Editor.
"That was basically the highlight of my whole high school journalistic career," Whitmore said. "My other highlight was interviewing two professional athletes for the paper. One was professional hockey player, Andrew Gordon, and the other was professional snowboarder, and Olympian, Elena Hight"
Now a junior in college, Whitmore has expanded her journalistic abilities to include more than just motorsports, but professional hockey as well. Writing for multiple sports websites, Whitmore is getting that much needed experience to become a professional journalist.
"Writing for these websites have given me professional experience as a writer, working in the fast pace world of sports. I think it has given me more experience than writing for the college newspaper ever could," she said.
For Whitmore, her family has been the rock behind her passion for motorsports. 100% supportive of her dreams, her family has told her that she can do anything she sets her mind to, something she takes to heart.
"My father has Multiple Sclerosis and I see him struggle to just walk every day," Whitmore said. "Before he was diagnosed with MS, I would find myself complaining about stupid things on a daily basis and making excuses all the time.
"I see him get up every day and go to work without one complaint, even though I know he’s in pain. He doesn’t ask for help to do anything. This has inspired me greatly. It has given me the motivation to not make excuses and to not let anything stand in my way of achieving my dream. It gives me the motivation to give 100% in whatever I do"
Her family has been her main source of support but there are others who have helped her to achieve her dreams. If it wasn't for those who gave her a chance to write for their website, the experience she has gained would be far less.
"The biggest key person in my life who has helped me in my journey so far, though, has been God," said Whitmore. "Without him, I wouldn’t be able to do anything that I am currently. He gave me all of my talents and it is up to me to use them to the best of my ability. Without him, I wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t have my passion for motorsports, I wouldn’t have my family, and I wouldn’t have the skills that he gave me."
One of the hardest things about breaking in to the world of motorsports isn't about getting your name and work out there for the world to see, but instead, it's a task all professional journalists must master in order to succeed; time management.
"I’m a full-time college student and I write for several motorsports and hockey websites, plus my own personal blogs," said Whitmore. "You have to be very organized and manage your time well. If you don’t, you will probably get very behind in your work and get very stressed"
Whitmore had the opportunity to experience the world of motorsports media firsthand just a few months ago when she took a trip to Dover International Raceway for the Nationwide race as a member of the media. Mingling with those journalists who she has admired and looked up to for years.
"I was standing in the same room with professionals like Lee Spencer and Bob Pockrass," Whitmore exclaimed! "Attending this race as a media member only solidified my dream of becoming a motorsports reporter and calling the motorsports world my home one day."
So what is Carrie Whitmore's dream?
"My dream is to be a NASCAR TV reporter," she said. "I would love to work with ESPN or Fox Sports one day."
Seeing the likes of Jamie Little and Krista Voda among others in front of the camera has given Whitmore role models to aspire to be like.
"I would love to live up to their reputations," she said, "but I know that will be a very difficult task."
NASCAR isn't her only aspiration, she would love to be a reporter for IndyCar and other forms of motorsports as well. Her biggest goal is just to be at the track and in the middle of the action.
"I want to see, hear, and breathe all the action before a big race," said Whitmore. "I want to interview drivers and their teams so fans will be informed and will get to enjoy the sport of racing like I have for 20+ years"
Whitmore continues to work hard on her dreams and writes multiple articles a week for the websites she contributes to. One thing is for certain, she will stop at nothing to make her dream come true and she asks for only one thing.
"I ask for motorsports fans’ approval to allow me to bring my passion for motorsports into the homes of their audience."
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I am writing this to give those who want to make it in the world of motor sports a place to make their story heard. As someone who is also chasing their dream of working in the motorsports industry, I want to help others who are doing the same.
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