Racing freshman: Madilyn Knox

Allyson Phung, Editorial Board

A rite of passage for every teenager is the day they turn sixteen years old. Freedom is how many describe it. After multiple driving lessons, a written exam, and scraping by with a 80% on the driving test, freedom is awarded with a plastic card– a driver’s license.

However this isn’t the case for freshman Madilyn Knox, who participates in wheel to wheel racing, otherwise known as road racing. 

“I have a competition license from the Sports Car Club of America, but since I was under sixteen years old I had to go through two classes,” Knox said. “The license allows me to attend any event that I want.”

But, she wasn’t always interested in wheel to wheel racing. She started with go-karting in 2017, where she taught lessons. 

“My dad originally introduced me to go-karting and eventually showed cars when he went to a track night,” Knox said. 

Ever since her dad taught her about cars, Knox has been hooked. Her typical practice schedule includes one to two hours a day on her race simulator with longer practices on the weekends, when she can go to the track. 

“On track days, I don’t race anybody, but I run laps and use my Garmin Catalyst, which times me and tells me what I can improve on,” Knox said. “But I also have my driving coach, Matt, who helps me train.”

All this dedication and practice is worth it to Knox because nothing can replace racing for her.

“It’s really exciting to race people because you can’t predict what they’re going to do, so you have to figure out how to maneuver around them and react beforehand,” Knox said. 

Knox’s competitions typically last eight hours. With a team of four, which includes her dad, uncle, and driving coach, they each take their turn to drive on the course for two hours. 

“It’s almost a race against time because we can go into the pits and work on our car if we need to during the race,” Knox said. “It’s really about making sure that your car lasts the longests because some don’t.”

While Knox loves competing, at almost all of her competitions, Knox is one, if not the only, of a few girls competing. 

“Road racing is a male dominated sport, so a lot of people underestimate me and expect me to not be good at all, so if I beat them sometimes they’re salty,” Knox said.

But Knox thrives off of competition like this as she is a naturally competitive person. She demonstrated her determination to compete at one of her races in Portland, Oregon, where she won for her class.

“I wrecked my car into the walls on a Thursday and had to compete in a race the following Saturday and Sunday. Despite this, I came out with a win,” Knox said.

Sometimes moments like these can take a toll on Knox but her love for road racing trumps all of it. 

 “It can be tough on me mentally and physically, but road racing is what I love to do,” Knox said.