IRL: Stories from Sarah Fisher's mom

Indianapolis, August 11, 2000 - Sarah Fisher's Mom Reba was sitting on her front porch shooting darts at a bucket. Not just for fun, but for stress relief too. Reba teaches school full-time at Teays Valley Middle School, teaches one additional...

Indianapolis, August 11, 2000 - Sarah Fisher's Mom Reba was sitting on her front porch shooting darts at a bucket. Not just for fun, but for stress relief too.

Reba teaches school full-time at Teays Valley Middle School, teaches one additional class at the High School and does the website for the entire school district, in addition to attending every one of her daughter's Indy Racing League events. She's been getting ready for the upcoming school year, and a guidance counselor told her that shooting darts was a good way to relax.

Reba's daughter Sarah is a chip off the old block as far as hard work and determination to succeed are concerned. Her Mom (and Dad) definitely played a big role in making Sarah the racer she is today. Reba talked about what kind of a Mom she was when her daughter was born.

"I was a real gung ho Mom like in Baby Boomer," said Reba. "Everything you saw in that movie - that was me. The Better Baby Institute is a real place and they had a kit you could buy for your kids, and I bought it. I wanted to make sure Sarah experienced everything she could as a kid before she found something she really liked to do, so we did it all."

Both Sarah's parents were racecar drivers, and they wanted to make sure she was a well-rounded kid, no matter what their own idiosyncrasies.

"People ask me if I'm scared she's running in Indy cars," said Reba. "No, I was scared to take her to Water Babies. When the instructors tell you put your baby down in the water and the baby will breathe on their own, that was the most terrifying moment I've ever had. I had problems with that because I wasn't a great swimmer. I was a driver so I was OK with her driving."

One of the hobbies Reba started Sarah in was Suzuki piano lessons. She started when she was three years old.

"She took Suzuki piano and there was a recital in the summer of 1983" Reba remembered. "She wanted to play the theme from the Superman movie so we tried to find a simple way to play it. Sarah wore her superman pajamas when she played the song. I think we have a picture of that somewhere, but she wasn't really interested in the piano, so that didn't last long."

Sarah started racing quarter midgets when she was five years old, but the first "car" she had was a human-powered vehicle.

"I bought her a pink and blue pedal Barbie doll car at a garage sale," said Mom. It had a little basket in the front that her Gizmo doll (from the movie Gremlins) sat in. She was so cute in it."

Sarah was also interested in "girly" things when she was small. When she was five, she did an interview for a local television station that her Mom still has the tape of.

"It was really important to have her quarter midget painted like her dad's race car with the addition of two red hearts on the side, and to have pink finger nail polish on. The TV station did an interview with her and asked how did she know she was fast. Sarah answered (as she reached up to touch her cheek so her pink nail polish showed on-camera) 'I know I was fast because I passed people.'"

"She tried a lot of activities when she was young, but I started to feel like a soccer Mom so we cut back to what really interested her. I knew that was going to be racing when she won the Jr. WKA nationals (at age 11). She told me then that she knew she was good. That's when she went over the line from just having fun to really trying."

And the rest, as they say, is history. 19-year old Sarah has a long-term contract with Derrick Walker to race in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series. In May, she became the third-youngest person to ever run in the greatest spectacle in racing - The Indianapolis 500. And the story continues.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Sarah Fisher