From Dancer to Driver: Olivia Murray Chasing Her NASCAR Dream at Cook Out Summer Shootout
- Fifteen-year-old Bandolero Outlaw driver Olivia Murray finding success against the best grassroots racers in the country, setting sights on bigger dreams of a future at NASCAR’s top level
CONCORD, N.C. (July 25, 2022) – While most fifteen-year-olds' Instagram feeds during the summer are filled with pictures at the beach or videos of the latest Tik-Tok dances, Olivia Murray’s feed is filled with cars and checkered flags. The rising high school sophomore traded in her dance shoes for driving shoes in 2021 to pursue her love of racing, and this summer has faced the best grassroots racing competition in the country at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Cook Out Summer Shootout.
The Bandolero Outlaw driver got her first taste behind the wheel at the Wayne County Speedway in 2019 racing against her older brother, Cameron. “My dad just said to press on it,” Murray said. That’s exactly what she did as she passed the other drivers, leaving others spinning in her dust. She has been addicted to the adrenaline rush ever since. Cameron, a Legend Car driver, has been coaching and helping Olivia the past few years. “We are a dynamic duo,” Murray said.
Prior to her first full season in 2021, Murray split her time between competitive dance, soccer and racing. While she loved all three sports, she knew that in order to get where she wanted to be behind the wheel, she needed to dedicate her efforts completely toward chasing her racing dreams.
Since stepping away dance, she is already seeing her efforts pay off, taking third place in the Winter Nationals at the beginning of the year and collecting her first Cook Out Summer Shootout checkered flag in Round 4 action earlier this summer. Murray went on to take first at the Florence Motor Speedway that weekend. With each win this season, Murray continues racking up points as she races to compete in the INEX Outlaw East National Championship.
Murray looks to follow the lead of trailblazers like Sara Christian, Janet Guthrie, Ethel Flock Mobley and Danica Patrick as she hopes to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series when she’s older.
“It is kind of like my life. I wanna do it till I'm 80,” Murray said.
Only three rounds remain in this summer’s Cook Out Summer Shootout. The action continues with back-to-back nights of Legend Car and Bandolero racing this week, featuring “Christmas in July' on Monday and “Faster Pastor” school bus racing on Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Entry is $10 for adults, and kids 12 and under are FREE. Tickets can be purchased at the gate, by calling 800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets. Visit the speedway’s website for nightly discounts and more information about theme nights.