Role Model

USF2000 Pro driver Lindsay Brewer. [Eddie LePine Photo]

USF2000 Pro driver Lindsay Brewer. [Eddie LePine Photo]

By Eddie LePine & Jack Webster

Lindsay Brewer is making an impact on professional motor racing. Currently in her second season racing for Exclusive Autosport in the USF Pro 2000 Championship, she has an eye on continuing to improve her race craft and moving up the motorsport ladder, and has her eye on eventually graduating to her ultimate goal – piloting IndyCars.

Lindsay is certainly not the first woman to set her sights on a career in professional motor racing – she has been proceeded by pioneering and talented female athletes such as Denise McCluggage (world famous driver, author, journalist and photographer who won the GT class at Sebring in a Ferrari in 1961), Michèle Mouton (the famous Audi rally driver from the 1980s), Lyn St. James (who was known for her great drives in both GT and GTP cars in IMSA, along with IndyCar in the 1980s and 1990s), Danica Patrick (the 2005 Indy 500 rookie of the year, only woman to win an IndyCar race, plus raced in the totally male dominated NASCAR series), Leena Gade (the first female race engineer to win Le Mans with Audi in 2011), and Katherine Legge (superb sports car and IndyCar trailblazing driver, who is still currently racing). Those who proceeded her may have opened the door and led the way, but Lindsay is building upon that foundation and taking her motorsport career to a whole new level.

It is very hard to succeed in motorsports. It is a man’s world, just ask any of those women who have proceeded Lindsay into the racing life. Perhaps back in the day, one could get ahead on talent or connections alone, but certainly not today. Racing is a business – a tough business which is driven by money – vast amounts of it. The most successful drivers are the ones who can attract and keep the best sponsors – and only then do they have the opportunity to show how much talent they have and how far up the ladder they can go. If they don’t come up with the money in the first place, they will never go anywhere. Their dream of racing will just die on the vine before getting a chance to bloom.

How did a young girl living in southern California end up driving race cars, with the goal of eventually driving IndyCars? As Lindsay tells it: “I’m from Colorado originally, so I grew up snowmobiling, four wheeling, jet skiing – a lot of motorized fun stuff. I hopped into a go kart when I was 11 at a birthday party and absolutely fell in love with it. It felt natural to me, I really loved it.”

Here is perhaps what separates Lindsay from most other people. She loved racing, wanted to make a go of it, but knew she needed to be able to bring something to the table for sponsors – something others could not. She took a four-year break from racing to earn a business degree at San Diego State University. While there, she started to pursue and gain a sizeable social media following. As Lindsay says: “I took a bit of a break from racing there, but I knew I always wanted to pursue racing – it was just a matter of finding the funding for it. Racing has always been my one and only goal. I was able to acquire a social media following in the process. It was tough for a few years – but here we are now – we are doing well.”

Doing well indeed. Lindsay has almost three million followers on social media – 2.1 million on Instagram alone. Balancing racing, modeling, posting on social media all while introducing new sponsors to motorsport – it is quite a job and requires dedication and skill.

“Sometimes people give me a hard time for taking a couple of selfies at the track – but it’s what I do to pay the bills for racing. Social media is such an important part of marketing for a lot of companies – so being able to balance social media with my racing is challenging, but a lot of fun.”

Of note, Lindsay is the number one followed racing driver in North America. Let that sink in for a minute. Number one. No one in NASCAR, IndyCar, or IMSA has more followers. It is no wonder that drivers who were initially skeptical of Lindsay’s racing efforts have actually sought her out for advice on how to gain more exposure on social media and make presentations to potential sponsors.

Despite the massive social media following and demands on her time both at the track and away from the track, Lindsay remains down to earth, approachable and humble.

“I love sharing my journey with people. I love meeting followers at the track – especially young girls. You see their eyes light up. They get so excited. This is a male dominated industry, so to give these young girls encouragement is special. I want these girls to know that they can do whatever they want to in life. If you really put your mind to it, you can do whatever guys can do – in business or sport. That’s my favorite part about it.”

Lindsay is living her dream, paying her dues, learning her craft and continuing to build her brand. It is likely that in the future, her name will be listed among those female racing pioneers that proceeded her in the sport as one who inspired countless other young girls to follow in her footsteps.

We’ll be keeping an eye on her as she moves up the racing ladder.

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