Alpharetta Georgia's Paige Monette can attribute her racing successes to two things; persistence and dedication.
Racing is in Paige’s family and has been for years. Paige’s father, Bob, has had racing in his blood since he was old enough to walk.
"My uncle built South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Va. and I can remember working at the track when I was about 6-years-old," Monette said. “I’ve never seen a child go to a race track and not have fun. It is a great environment for my family.”
Seven years ago, after spending time away from racing, Bob Monette participated in a driving school at Atlanta Motor Speedway and knew he was hooked again.
“When I finished the school, I sent three of my kids through the same class and they all loved it,” Monette said. “That is when I decided to purchase two Thunder Roadsters from 600 Racing and get started again.”
Bob and his sons raced Roadsters at AMS and eventually Bob purchased a Panoz car, retiring the Roadster.
After watching her brothers and father blister the asphalt, Paige wanted her chance behind the wheel. She started asking her father to let her driver the Thunder Roadster that was collecting dust.
“It looked like a lot of fun and I pretty much bugged him until he caved in and let me drive,” Paige said. “I was always asking him when it was going to be my turn to drive and finally he let me.”
After persistently begging her father, Paige got her first shot wheeling a Thunder Roadster in the Winter Flurry II series at AMS, running a limited schedule. “I wasn’t all that competitive those first few races, but it was fun being out there,” Paige said.
Paige’s father’s priority was safety and took steps to ensure his daughter’s welfare.
“I was very careful not to get her on the track until she was ready,” Bob said. “You have two responsibilities as a driver. First, you have to take care of yourself and second, you have to be sure and stay out of other drivers’ way and not be a rolling hazard.”
Since meeting her father’s standards as a safe driver, Paige has racing in the Roadster division for almost two years now and enjoys climbing behind the wheel every Thursday night over the summer.
“I love racing at Atlanta,” Paige said. “I love the track and the convenience, but most importantly, I love the people at AMS. All of the drivers, especially the ones I race against in the Roadster division treat me like any other racer, but still treat me like a lady. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Paige is still searching for her first Thursday Thunder victory, but if she continues to progress at her current rate, a victory should be in the near future.
“Paige is as dedicated to winning as anyone out there and she has made tremendous strides since she started racing the Roadster,” said Atlanta Motor Speedway President and General Manager and fellow Thursday Thunder Roadster competitor Ed Clark. “She is very determined to win and it is just a matter of time before she gets her first victory.”
For now, Paige knows there are more important things in racing than just winning.
“My goals are simple and modest,” Paige said, “I want to get better and eventually beat these guys, but most importantly, just have fun.”
A University of Georgia graduate, Paige’s future plans include traveling to a variety of tracks and possibly getting behind the wheel of a Legends car.
“I love racing the Roadster, but eventually I’d like to try a Legends car,” Paige said. “I also want to travel to a wide range of tracks and see what is like on different tracks.”
Fans can watch Paige and over 100 fellow competitors each Thursday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway through August 3. Tickets for Thursday Thunder, Atlanta Motor Speedway’s weekly Legends racing series, are available at Gate 13 (frontstretch Champions Grandstand) on event nights. Parking is free. Spectator gates open at 6 p.m. with preliminary action beginning immediately. Feature racing begins at 7 p.m. and concludes by 10:30 p.m.