Amanda Frye Looks to Show the Boys What Racing Is All About
Amanda Frye is not the kind of girl who sits in the stands and freaks out when “her man” gets into a wreck on the track, she doesn’t even root for “her man” when they are on the track. That is because this girl is the one out on the track, the one behind the wheel, chasing down the boys and trying to make a name for her self. I actually meet Amanda quite a few years back when I worked at an indoor go karting place called American Indoor Karting. She was one of the few juniors that would come in and we wouldn’t really have to worry about her leaving scuff marks on the wall, or jumping over tire barriers. Most kids her age were there for birthday parties and for fun, she was there to race!
“My grandfather, Rick Hester, is actually one of many well-known people at Langley Speedway,” Frye told me. He’s been racing since the 60’s. My mom and dad use to go out there every Saturday night, along with my grandma.” Amanda went on to tell me her aunts went out as well just never got behind the wheel, they were there for support and to help out when they could. “Then I came along,” Amanda explains. “I wanted to do more than work on the cars, I wanted to get behind the wheel!”
Amanda first took to the scene when she was about 9 years old racing flat karts! She told me she remembers her dad telling her he wouldn’t make the kart ‘look good’ until she got fast. You ask me that is plenty motivation to get quick. Now for those who may not know these types of karts have no belts, no roll cage, just you some jeans and a helmet. Amanda got her start like most kids do in this area in the Hampton Roads Kart Club (HRKC).
If memory serves me correct the owner of AIK sold the Portsmouth franchise to focus on his store in Richmond, the new owners moved the facility to Virginia Beach and was just to far of a drive for me, not to mention I had a hard time trying to find a way to get over there in between college and work so for a few years I was not able to keep up with Amanda’s racing career. In that time she decided move up to Jr. Champ Karts, these karts are bit bigger with larger motors and a roll cage to help protect the driver.
2006 was her first season in a Jr. Champ and was able to finish the season a very respectable third place in points! With one year under her belt she returned in 2007 to finish runner-up in the points standings. Now there is this old saying that three times a charm and boy did it came true in ’08 when Amanda took home the Championship. “I was actually the only female to have won a championship,” Frye told us. “I had the most points out of everyone in the HRKC because I had so many pole starts and wins, it was such a good feeling but I was definitely nervous that I had to get up in front of everyone and make a speech.”
The next step for Amanda Frye was a stint in 2009 in the Super Truck division at Langley Speedway. These are your older style Chevy s10, Ford Ranger, Dodge Dakota and even a Datsun if you wanted to run it. I say this lightly, and mostly because we are friends, but you know how you get a new job or try a new style of food someone suggest and you just know that it’s not for you? This was the Super Trucks for Amanda. However you have to give her credit for having that drive to continue to grow within the sport but some just are not for certain people. Amanda only spent a season and a half in the trucks trying to run for Rookie of the Year, she did however win Sportsman of the Year instead.
Amanda found what I think she would agree with me to be her niche in the Wing Champ Karts at Langley Speedway. Officially governed by the rules of the HRKC these karts have fenders, roll cages, five point harnesses, HANS devices much like those driver in the upper classes of racing only thing different is the gigantic wing on top to keep them plastered to the track. The wing champ karts started racing with the Saturday night program only once or twice a month until the division got popular. More and more karts came to the track Saturday nights and so did the fans.
2013 was Amanda’s rookie season in these machines and she witnessed her fair share of ups and downs. Capturing her very first pole after being allowed to qualify on time (Rookies in the HRKC have to start their first four races in the back of the pack) to coming so close to winning her first race of her career (the team was disqualified after failing a post race inspection, the team did not wish to disclose any further information).
After a very educational 2013 season Amanda will return to the track this season with her new kart, new engine, new sponsor, (Smith Law Firm), a new teammate and a new outlook for the season! The Wing Champ Karts will be first up on the track for their 20 lap feature as the NASCAR Southern Mods come into town. Make sure you head over to her driver series page via this link and get to know the girl inside the helmet. So far we are 1 for 1 with drivers featured on days they race, they end up in victory lane!
You can also head over to The Driver Series page to check out more interviews we have done in the past!