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Kil-Kare celebrates hall of fame class

The Powder Puff division at Kil-Kare Speedway has run off and on through the years at the Greene County track. The female-only division turned laps in the early 1990s after a group of women figured if they are spending every Friday at the track why not join the fun?

It quickly turned serious. While the defunct division is no longer competitive, the drivers still are. When asked who was the better race car driver in their family there was little hesitation from Jean Stump and Teresa Lakins.

“That would be me,” Lakins and Stump both declared confidently.

Fellow driver Dee Drook conceded her husband wheeled the car better. But there’s something all three agree on: They are honored to be the first three female drivers inducted into Kil-Kare Speedway’s Hall of Fame. A total of 29 drivers, car owners and track workers will be honored Friday night as the third class inducted. Included among them are Stump’s husband Marc and Lakins’ ex-husband Jay Sr.

“We were just out there having fun and trying to win,” Drook said. “Our objective was to race clean and show everyone we could do it. We proved to people girls can win, too. Girls can drive. … We all drove clean and respected each other. It was fun. But we wanted our (track) position, that’s for sure.”

Kil-Kare records show Drook as the track champion in 1991, Lakins in 1992 and Stump in 1993. The Powder Puff class ran prior to that but points weren’t kept.

The class shared the cars their husbands or significant others drove. That put additional pressure on the Powder Puff division not to tear them up or create extra work for the crews.

“We as women went out and raced cars that guys put a lot of time and work into,” Lakins said. “I think we need to thank them for that. We went out and had all the fun and they did a lot of the work.”

Sharing cars presented other challenges. Both Drook and Lakins said they sat on pillows to see better. Stump, a good 16 inches shorter than her husband at 5-foot tall, said six-inch extenders had to be placed on the gas pedal. She soon got her own car to drive.

“My husband has done this for about 20 years,” Stump said. “I finally told him he was going to build me a car. I figured that was the only way I was going to get to spend any time with him.”

Their Powder Puff years went idle in 1994 when the division couldn’t field enough drivers. Stump, having her own car, raced in the pro stocks and finished sixth in points. She even beat her husband in a race.

“Yeah, but he claims there was sabotage,” Stump said laughing. “He drove someone else’s car that night and didn’t put enough gas in the car. … I let him know I won.”

Added Lakins: “I think we did a lot better than some people thought we might do. I never felt like we were a sideshow or something like that. We had a lot of fun.”

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