Ashley Uts ready for 2004 season at Ventura Raceway

CAMARILLO, Calif. (MARCH 3, 2004) -- Ashley Utts is ready to pick up where her stock car racing career left off when the 2003 season ended. Utts, the 17-year-old junior at Oaks Christian High School in Thousand Oaks, will be among the hopefuls...

CAMARILLO, Calif. (MARCH 3, 2004) -- Ashley Utts is ready to pick up where her stock car racing career left off when the 2003 season ended.

Utts, the 17-year-old junior at Oaks Christian High School in Thousand Oaks, will be among the hopefuls when the Ventura Raceway's 2004 season opens March 6. She competed in the final two races of the 2003 season. "Last year I was just learning how to drive a race car when the season ended," Utts said. "This year I guess I'll learn how to race." Utts races in the Pony Stock division at Ventura. She turned in impressive performances in her first two starts, finishing 12th in her debut and was running in the top 10 in the second race when a flat tire ended her run.

The teenager has kept busy since the end of the 2003 racing season. She is an honor student at OCHS and plays volleyball. Utts was a starter for the Lions as they battled their way to the CIF-Southern Section semi-finals last season. After the high school volleyball season ended, she hit the club volleyball circuit and will continue to play during the racing season.

"It's a lot of work," Utts admitted. "I have AP (Advance Placement) classes and I have a good GPA. But I love volleyball and I love racing, so I keep my grades up. As long as my grades are good, my parents let me do both."

Utts drives the Custom Printing-sponsored Ford Mustang. She represents the third generation in her family to drive a racecar, following her grandfather and both parents. Utts Racing has a total of 50 main event victories scored at racetracks around the Southwestern states.

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