Robinson fails to qualify for NAPA 500

by Thomas Chemris In what had the potential to be a Hollywood script, veteran driver Shawna Robinson failed to qualify for Sundays NAPA 500 in Fontana California. Her attempt to be the first women driver to start a Winston Cup race in 12 years...

by Thomas Chemris

In what had the potential to be a Hollywood script, veteran driver Shawna Robinson failed to qualify for Sundays NAPA 500 in Fontana California.

Her attempt to be the first women driver to start a Winston Cup race in 12 years ended as a result of a broken rear as she exited turn two on her qualifying lap.

"When you get an opportunity like this taken away, it breaks your heart", noted an upset Robinson.

Being the first Cup Attempt, the team was not eligible for a provisional starting spot.

Robinson's official announcement that she would compete in NASCAR'S most prestigious level came on March 14th of this year. She and car owner Michael Kranefuss outlined plans for Shawna and MK Racing to attempt six cup events during 2001, and projected a full time ride as early as 2002.

The future looked nothing but promising, as Shawna and the team acquired the use of Yates power plants, and demonstrated competence in preparation for the event.

Her testing at California Speedway began with her crashing in practice, but after some work, she was able to post competitive speeds.

"I want to be something in this sport. I'm racing because I am competitive, because I want to be a factor, and because this is something I have wanted to do for a long, long, time".

Robinson, a veteran of several series has done time this season driving for Michael Walltrip in BGN, finishing 19th in Talladega, 43rd in Nashville, and 39th in Texas.

After her Texas effort, Ken Butler, of Aaron's, Walltrip BGN sponsor announced the company would sponsor Robinson in the ARCA Remax series.

Finishing third in the ARCA event in Nashville, Butler announced that Arson's would be her primary sponsor in 4 of her Winston Cup attempts.

"Having Ken Butler and the people at Aaron's Rent support us, that just means a whole lot. It means a lot financially. But it also means that they see the potential that we see in this race team".

That potential will have to wait until June, when the team will make their next cup attempt at Michigan International Speedway.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ken Butler