Embarking on the thrilling journey from go-karts straight to Legend Cars, Stevie "Stevie Nicks" Rodriguez, a rising female in the world of racing looks to widen her experience in this 2024 season. From providing nay-sayers wrong to chasing victories at Irwindale Speedway, Rodriguez is chasing history as a female in a male-dominated sport. Like the singer, Nicks wants to be known as the Stevie Nicks of the motorsports world and there is a fun story behind how she adopted that name.


Hometown: Glendora, California

Division: Young Lion

Car Number: 09

Race Team: Ricky Schlick Racing

Favorite Movie: Cars

1. What got you started in racing?

I was actually three years old and my dad got me into mini dirt bikes and pitters. I kind of drifted off there, tried everything new but then one day I was at the NHRA Drags out here in Pomona and I just fell in love with cars. So, my dad took me to go-kart and that’s just where everything started. We started going to Irwindale (Speedway) and it was amazing.

2. What has your racing journey been like so far?

I was doing go-karts at K1 Speed for a little while, for about two years and then I moved up to Irwindale Speedway to do ride-alongs with one of the racers, Trevor Huddleston, and then finally they recommended us to Ricky Schlick so we went to Ricky and now we’re in a Legend.

3. How was the transition straight from go-karts to Legend Cars?

Oh yeah, it was a big difference. Like when I first hopped into a Legend at Irwindale Speedway it was completely different. Now we’re in a full car, we’re getting to know all these things about the car, the shifter, the clutch, I like learning about how the car turns. It was tough learning everything but I was really dedicated to working hard and learning about the Legend. Not even seven months into racing and I’ve placed Top 5 and Top 10 at Irwindale.

4. Where did your nickname Stevie Nicks come from?

When my mom and my dad were finding out a name to pick they were thinking Lola and my aunt was like, "No, let’s name her Stevie Nicks," like the singer and my mom and dad were like of course let’s do that. So all these years I have been going by my name Stevie Rodriquez and my nickname was Stevie Nicks so she (her mom) was like, “That should be your racing name.” I was like “Really?” and she was like “Yeah,” and then my dad was like, “Sweet, but there’s a singer Stevie Nicks, are you sure?” and I was like “No, I’m sure. I want people to know me as Stevie Nicks the race car driver.” I feel like it’s so cool knowing that I’m named after a singer but I’ll be something else greater in life that can be like Stevie Nicks.

5. What does it mean to be a girl in a male-dominated sport?

I feel like you’re in the sport and there’s a lot of other guys you know sometimes they’re looking at you weirdly or being rude to you saying, “Oh, you’re just a girl, you’re just a girl, you can’t drive a race car” and I like to prove them wrong and still be faster than them. I like to still go out there and place Top 10, P3, even P1 so I feel like it’s just great to know that having that leverage from, yeah, I’m just a girl but I’m still really good. I can still drive a race car, I still can do what I want. That’s what I like.

6. What would you tell other girls looking to get started in racing?

I would tell them to just go for it because there are so many opportunities and just go for it. Who cares what other people think? Do what you want to do and do what you love to do and pursue it. There’s gonna be people telling you, “Hey, you can’t do that,” and doubting you but you just have to go for it and just pursue it with all your passion and follow your dreams.

7. Who do you look up to in the motorsports world?

Honestly, I feel like getting opinions from NASCAR drivers inspires me, and listening to their podcasts and interviews inspires me to work harder. You know Joey Logano, he was a Legend Car driver in the past, so looking up to him and seeing that he was in a Legend Car and now he’s a NASCAR driver. I like listening to their interviews and listening to what they talk about, how they present themselves, how hard they worked and what they did after the Legends going into late-models.

8. What are your goals for this 2024 racing season?

My goal for this season is to pick up a win at Irwindale and to be the first girl and make history over there by winning the Legend Car Series. Not only that but I’d like to race for Nationals in Virginia hopefully and go to Charlotte and maybe get to a podium there during the [Summer] Shootout. That’s truly what I want to do and get at least in the Top 10 in national points.

9. What is your favorite racing memory?

My favorite memory was at Silver State because I remember my friend Ben (Morabito) was coming out from his Heat 1 and I was going out for Heat 2 and he got on the microphone to talk to me. He was just talking to me and was spotting me and I was able to cut down eight seconds and I was so happy it was amazing.

10. What has been your favorite win?

When I was at K1 Speed, that was my favorite win. There’s when I was walking out of the go-kart and there’s everyone just standing there staring and I had these guys coming up to me like, “Girl, you’re so good at that go-kart, you’re amazing.” It was just amazing going up to the podium and standing there with the win. Like even though it’s just a go-kart it meant so much to me because I still worked really hard to train on these tracks that I did and I absolutely loved it.

11. What is the reasoning behind your pink 09 cars?

The reason behind it was I was born in 2009 and I like to think that’s where it all started and that’s where my journey begins. I feel like that’s a deep meaning to me because I really want to do something great in racing and so having that number means a lot to me. And the pink, I have been a pink girl since I was a baby. My mom put me in pink bows, she put me in pink cowgirl boots, cowboy hats and just pink everything. I mean I had pink dirt bikes at the age of three years old so I love pink so much.

12. What did it mean to receive your team's Rookie of the Year?

When I was at Silver State, my trainer presented me Rookie of the Year and there was a little trophy and it meant so much to me because it was basically my first one (trophy) in a Legend. When they were presenting it to me they were like, “You worked so hard this year and you were so determined to hurry up and get out there and you were working day and night, sending us pictures of all these tracks studying and everything and you did it and you’re still doing it. We see so much passion in you for the sport and we know that this is the award we want to give you and we think it is what you deserved and earned.”

13. What is your favorite track to race on?

I’ve only been to two so far but I think it would have to be Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it’s so much fun there, and I love it. I like the road course and the speed and adrenaline going out of turns and shifting the gears, spinning out on the track and getting in the gravel, all of that is just part of the experience and I just love it, it’s amazing

14. What is the best part of racing?

Well, I have two parts. My favorite part is the fact that when I’m in the car the whole world is just silent and it’s just me in the car, on the track and the RPM is going up high. Everything else is just blocked out. Everything’s silent and it makes me so calm and at peace and it makes me so happy. I feel like that is just my happiness you know. My second part was at Irwindale we had an autograph session and I had these little kids coming up to me so amazed at my car and looking at the colors so amazed. I had this one little girl, she couldn’t see, but I grabbed her hand and I showed her what the car felt like and what these things were and it meant so much to me knowing that I could show these little kids and this generation what a race car is. They were so excited and the smiles on their faces were worthwhile.

15. What are your long-term racing goals?

My biggest goal that I’m looking forward to is making it to NASCAR of course but to also be the first female to ever win a Daytona 500. That’d be amazing. Also after I retire from NASCAR I’d like to open up a nonprofit organization for kids who can’t afford racing because I feel like that’s one of the biggest things. I know so many kids who have so much talent in racing but can’t do it because they don’t have the money to and I’d like to open up an organization like that so I can help kids all over with talent so they could pursue their dreams as a racer.