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News & Press: GS News

Teen Driver Inspires Girl Scouts

Tuesday, October 26, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: jennifer punch
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Reporter: Sarah Bloom l Videographer: Brian Vaughan


Henry County, VA - Among the ranks of those mostly drivers this afternoon, was 18-year-old Johanna Long: a young woman with a subtle, but powerful message. One she shared with two girl scouts, who she invited to be honorary members of her pit crew.

You might just say Johanna Long drives like a girl. In the eyes of the local Girl Scouts, that's a good thing.

"I didn't know it was going to be her racing. I was like, oh, girl racing!" said Girl Scout Shawna Barbour.

"A girl who races, so that was pretty cool!" agreed Girl Scout Shawna Murdock.

Long invited the local girl scouts to watch her debut at the Martinsville Speedway. "I just like racing and watching it on TV and everything and it's awesome to be in the pits and everything," said Barbour

"We just thought that would be an awesome idea for them to experience what I get to experience," added Long.

But the teenager isn't sharing her experience because she's a girl. She says she wants them to know what it's like to be a racer.

"Well, I'm just out there racing," said Long. "Yeah, I'm a girl but I'm out there doing the best that I can and hopefully more people will come into the sport but I'm just out there like every other guy."

But one mother says being female and a driver, Long is an inspiration to young women. And her message is just as powerful as her presence on the track. "

They get to see that even though it's is a male dominated sport, there are still women who are able to do it and no matter what they decide they want to do in life they can do it, even if it is dominated by males," said Jane Robertson who is a Girl Scout herself, but also has two daughters who are Girl Scouts.

These troop members say girl scouts lead by example…that Johanna Long is one girl, taking action--driving her message home from the track.

The local troop made Long an honorary scout. Long tells us she's always wanted to be one-- and wore the pin for her race. Four females actually competed in this year's Kroger 200--a first for the Martinsville Speedway.

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