One Girl's Drive to Change NASCAR

Don't call her another Danica Patrick

By Jessica Greene
|  Friday, Oct 23, 2009  |  Updated 11:56 AM PDT
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The Cars of NASCAR

Brunelli Racing

Jessica Brunelli is only 16 but she's been driving since she was 10.

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The roar of race car engines, the smell of gasoline and the rush of the race track are in Jessica Brunelli's blood. She's been driving since she was 10 but has only been licensed to drive on the streets for less than a year.

The 16-year-old from Hayward, California has big dreams of changing the face of NASCAR. Sure, there's that other young, beautiful brunette who races cars, but Jessica doesn't want to be just another Danica Patrick. She wants to be bigger.

And she's already on the road to doing just that.

Jessica was just picked from a pool of drivers to represent NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program. She was one of 30 drivers who competed for a team sponsorship in NASCAR's Camping World Series or the Whelen All-American Late-Model Series next year -- and she won.

She's back home this week for a quick visit with family and friends and to pack for her new temporary home in North Carolina where she will be on the fast track to a NASCAR racing future.

Keep your eyes on Jessica while you can. She's leading the pack of young drivers changing the scope of a decades-old auto racing institution.

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