In the Pits with Madilyn Lange
Your 2022 Outlaw West Champion, Madilyn Lange, is ready for the 2023 season! With East Coast and West Coast Bandolero Championships combined this year, Lange is eager to stay on top despite the fierce competition. Traveling the country with her sisters and dad who all race, Lange enjoys making friends at the track and learning everything she can.
Hometown: Wheatland, WY
Car Number: 21
Team: Performance Built Race Cars and D1 Racing
Favorite Vacation Spot: Moab, Utah
Favorite Color: Yellow
Favorite Movie: The Parent Trap
Favorite Food: Grilled Cheese
1. What sparked your interest in racing? What is your racing story?
When I was younger, my dad raced Demo X. My older sister got into Bandos, she kind of got me wanting to start racing. She looked like she was having so much fun meeting all the kids. I think my dad might have been the first one to race. I’ve always raced Bandos, unless you count go-karts at K1. This is my third year.
2. What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in the racing world?
The Competition is really fierce, but fun. When we travel, you have to figure out the tracks and you have to figure them out fast. I’ve learned a lot just coming [to the Nashville Spring Series]. They are definitely more competitive [on the East Coast]. A lot more cars. When I raced The Bullring [at Las Vegas Motor Speedway], we had about 15 cars, and that was Bandits and Outlaws together. There's a lot more competition. They are all really aggressive drivers, but really good. It is a lot more entertaining for me to not know how these drivers drive and have to figure it out. That's definitely a part of the challenge. I have a couple good days, a couple bad days, but that's what racing is. It's definitely made me a better driver, you’re only as good as your competition.
3. What is your favorite racing memory?
The West Coast National Championship last year. Me and my friend both got West Coast Champions that year, [and] it was definitely an experience. Making my friends back home, too. I have a lot of friends at my local tracks. We spend every weekend together.
4. What are your 2023 racing goals? What do you hope to achieve?
We travel throughout our local tracks which includes Colorado National Speedway, Intermountain Speedway, and Hiway 92 Raceway. I’m from Wyoming, so Intermountain is my home track, but I really like Hiway 92. It's a lot more competitive, the kids are fast. I am hoping for a top 10, but there's a lot more competition now that we are together. I just need the points to be up there. You have to compete to be up there.
5. What is your ultimate racing dream? Do you want to race professionally?
I really like racing, but if I don’t get there somehow that's okay. I am content with where I’m at. I am going to practice a Legend Car and see how I like it. Legends are a lot more to handle than Bandos.
6. Who is your biggest inspiration?
My sister, Bryanna. She's always up there and helps me figure out what to do. Also, Scott Dent. He helps with the cars, he helps me figure out the tracks.
7. If you were pulled into victory lane right now, who would you want to thank?
If I was pulled into victory lane, I would probably be very surprised. I’d like to thank Performance Built Race Cars, D1 Racing, Lee’s Towing, Platte County Repair, Dad’s Septic, Best Three Boutique and Design, Scott Dent, and my family.
8. Do you have any pre-race “rituals” or things you always have to do on race day?
My gloves are always on last, no matter what. Whenever I’m in the car, and my gloves are on, I can’t take them off. Even if we have 15 minutes before we are back on track, I can’t take my gloves off unless I know I am getting out of the car. But they are always the first thing to come off when I’m done.
9. Outside of racing, what other hobbies or activities are you involved in?
I like soccer, soccer is definitely something I’m interested in. I’ve played it since I was really little. Or I just help out in the shop. I do basketball, too, sometimes.
10. What race or track are you most looking forward to this season?
I’m looking forward to one of the tracks I haven’t raced. I’m so used to the ones on the West Coast, I want more of a challenge. I’ve figured out the ones on the West Coast, I like coming to the East and having to learn the lines. I want to be with these drivers, I’ve definitely gained a lot of confidence just being out here with them. I hope to race the National Events, school gets in the way. I want to try Charlotte [Motor Speedway], now that I’ve raced a track similar to it.
11. Do you have any advice to younger kids who are looking into getting started in racing?
You can’t be scared of the other drivers. I was really timid when I started. As I learned what the other drivers were like, and they weren’t going to do anything stupid, I got better. They’re all really good drivers. You have to get more comfortable being out there with them. Make friends with them, so you can talk to them after the race if something does happen. That's definitely something I wish I’d known. And if the track looks intimidating, it's really not. You just have to figure it out. Watch old races to kind of get an image in your head of what your line is.
12. If you could describe your racing style in one word, what would you say?
Probably very respectful. I won’t go in there if I don’t have that spot. That’s something my crew chief yells at me about. If it's not my spot I won’t take it until I can get around you cleanly. I don’t want to risk wrecking my car, that's not going to end well for either of us.
13. Who is your favorite NASCAR driver, and why?
Joey Logano, the yellow car, I love it.
14. If you could have a conversation with anyone, who would it be and why?
Joey Logano, [because] he started in Bandos and Legends. I think he definitely would help me out. That's another reason I really like him. He started where I did.
15. What's something that many people don’t know about you?
I live on a farm, and I have 9 dogs.