Looking for someone to follow whose coming through the ranks?
Well, look no further than Mississauga, Ontario native Alison MacLeod.
Recently, MacLeod inked a two year contract with ARCA team Venturini Motorsports to help further her already impressive career.
“It’s a pretty exciting deal,” she told the Toronto Sun. “The sponsorship part of it has yet to be worked out but we have a letter of intent for this season and 2011.”
MacLeod has already experienced success as last year, she picked up two victories, and finished second in the USAC Regional Midget Series standings.
The plan for 2010 is to run some late model races in North Carolina and secure sponsorship for six to seven races for this year.
The deal came together thanks to a friend she made a couple years ago, fellow Venturini Motorsports driver, Alli Owens.
MacLeod went down to North Carolina to spend some time with Owens, who invited her over to the Venturini Motorsports shop, which sparked a conversation with owner Billy Venturini.
“I was just hanging around the shop and Bill (Venturini) asked to see some of my racing stats,” she told the Toronto Sun. “We started talking about my future and the next thing I knew we were talking contract.”
She realized that it was the right deal for her once getting the tour from Owens and seeing what they had to offer.
“I am really excited to be aligned with such a strong team,”she told Pressdog.com, “After just a week in North Carolina at the Venturini shop I realized that this was a team devoted to developing drivers and winning races.
"I want to thank Alli Owens for having me come down with her. I will be seeing her again shortly as I move back to North Carolina. Alli has been a great help in the partnership between Venturini Motorsports and myself.”
She gave them reason into signing her with not only her racing success, yet a new sales pitch idea about having a pair of girls racing for them.
“We want to put together a American/Canadian girl team with myself and Alli,” she told the Toronto Sun. “We have already started to get some promotion concepts together.”
Owens had originally asked for MacLeod to come down, stating in her facebook note that she invited her, so they could work on marketing ideas together.
“Alison is the guru of design and photography, so she will be here this week to help me create marketing materials and take pictures, while my trade off to her is helping her with understanding sponsorship and how to find it,” Owens wrote in her facebook note.
“I think that is one plus of being a female. We don't have egos that get in the way of being productive. We don’t mind relying on other people’s strong points and don't mind asking for help. Come on men, you know you hate asking for help!”
Owens and MacLeod met in 2004 at the Lyn St. James Driver Development Program in Phoenix, AZ, in where Owens discovered it is better if they work together.
“We instantly clicked and found out early that two Ali's, or Alli's, are better than one.” Owens wrote in her note.
Venturini Motorsports Competition Director Billy Venturini is looking forward to having MacLeod on the team.
“We are very pleased to have Alison at Venturini Motorsports. She has proven herself to become a successful driver in racing’s top ranks and we look forward to having her race with our team,” he told Pressdog.com.
She was set to try an ARCA car at Talladega Superspeedway test with the team, though ARCA officials wouldn’t allow it due to no short track testing experience yet.
“That is what we will do next as soon as I get down there early in May,” she told the Toronto Sun. “The plan is to get me in a late model on one of the short tracks, like Caraway Speedway, to get the experience I need.”
MacLeod will be joining Owens at Venturini Motorsports, along with Mikey Kile and Steve Airpin.
Kile is excited about adding MacLeod to the team, commenting on her dedication.
"It seems like she is very focused and is willing to learn and do whatever it takes,” he told me via e-mail. “She will do fine at VMS because there staff is easy to get alone with and their race cars are by far the best race cars in the garage.”
So why should you become a fan of MacLeod’s?
Well, if you’re looking for a girl to follow, she’s the girl to follow.
She’s got the talent, as she has proved that in the past, and has aligned herself in one of the best situations around.
Venturni Motorsports has launched the careers of NASCAR drivers, including Joey Logano and recently Justin Allgaier and is known to be one of the best teams in the ARCA Series.
She’s also got the determination, as she has stated, she’ll do whatever it takes to succeed at her dream of being a successful driver.
Though most of all, she’s got a nice personality beneath it.
In the times that I’ve spent talking with her for previous articles and reading other things she’s said, she is one of the nicest people that I’ve gotten to know.
Alison, good luck and hope it works out well for you at Venturini Motorsports!
All of your fellow Canadians are behind you every step of the way!