Tenacious: Breaking Records and Stereotypes on the Racetrack

A #FilipinoAmerican Story as told by Race Car Driver, Michele Bumgarner. Read her full story below:“I won my first go-kart race in my second year of racing. I tasted victory, and it felt so good. I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was 11. I spent every weekend at the tracks. I sacrificed time with friends and a regular school life. I smelled like gas and burnt rubber. I just loved the atmosphere, the race weekends, the waking up, practicing, qualifying, and racing. I joined the Asian Karting Championship and competed in five different countries against people from all over Asia. When I won all I could in Asia, I thought I was done. But there was still Europe—where the top drivers of the world race against each other. I actually ended up qualifying 11th out of 170 drivers in my very first race and realized I could go against the best of the best of the best! It was the most amazing feeling ever. I decided to make a career in racing in the United States. By then I owned the track record in Carmona Philippines, had become the first female to win a heat race in a World Cup in Japan, was the first female to ever win the Rock Island Grand Prix (one of the biggest street races) and its first female back-to-back champion. Most of my success has been on go-karts, and I want to mirror that into my car racing career as well. I am working my way to get to IndyCar and the Indy500, but it’s been tough. Many people think being a race car driver is so glamorous. They don't know the blood, sweat, and tears that go behind the scenes. Accidents happen multiple times. There are more downs than there are victories. You can be on a high after winning a race one day; the next day, your car won’t start, and it all goes away. I feel like I still have so much more to show, and so much more to give, and so much more to prove to myself especially. Every day, I train to be ready for the next opportunity. I believe nothing good or worth it comes easy. You just need to keep pushing until you make it until you get to where you want to be.” About: Filipino American Disruptors is a month-long storytelling initiative powered by NextDayBetter x AARP AAPI Community celebrating the stories of Filipino Americans in a range of disciplines from community activism to tech entrepreneurship. These forward-thinking individuals are trendsetters, trailblazers, and problem-solvers in their respective fields, helping to push America and the Filipino American community forward through their leadership, creativity, and innovation.NextDayBetter Storyteller: Candice Quimpo

Posted by AARP AAPI Community on Friday, October 13, 2017

Tenacious: Breaking Records and Stereotypes on the Racetrack

A #FilipinoAmerican story as told by race car driver, Michele Bumgarner.

“I won my first go-kart race in my second year of racing. I tasted victory, and it felt so good. I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was 11.
I spent every weekend at the tracks. I sacrificed time with friends and a regular school life. I smelled like gas and burnt rubber. I just loved the atmosphere, the race weekends, the waking up, practicing, qualifying, and racing.

I joined the Asian Karting Championship and competed in five different countries against people from all over Asia. When I won all I could in Asia, I thought I was done. But there was still Europe—where the top drivers of the world race against each other. I actually ended up qualifying 11th out of 170 drivers in my very first race and realized I could go against the best of the best of the best! It was the most amazing feeling ever.

I decided to make a career in racing in the United States. By then I owned the track record in Carmona Philippines, had become the first female to win a heat race in a World Cup in Japan, was the first female to ever win the Rock Island Grand Prix (one of the biggest street races) and its first female back-to-back champion.

Most of my success has been on go-karts, and I want to mirror that into my car racing career as well. I am working my way to get to IndyCar and the Indy500, but it’s been tough. Many people think being a race car driver is so glamorous. They don’t know the blood, sweat, and tears that go behind the scenes. Accidents happen multiple times. There are more downs than there are victories. You can be on a high after winning a race one day; the next day, your car won’t start, and it all goes away.

I feel like I still have so much more to show, and so much more to give, and so much more to prove to myself especially. Every day, I train to be ready for the next opportunity. I believe nothing good or worth it comes easy. You just need to keep pushing until you make it until you get to where you want to be.”

About:
Filipino American Disruptors is a month-long storytelling initiative powered by NextDayBetter x AARP AAPI Communityommunity celebrating the stories of Filipino Americans in a range of disciplines from community activism to tech entrepreneurship. These forward-thinking individuals are trendsetters, trailblazers, and problem-solvers in their respective fields, helping to push America and the Filipino American community forward through their leadership, creativity, and innovation.

NextDayBetter Storyteller: Candice Quimpo