Sports

14-year-old is tearing up the track at Rocky Mountain Raceways

Natalie Waters is beating drivers twice her age

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) - Natalie Waters has always loved racing.

"I was just always at the track since I was six months old," she said. "I'd go to the racecar shops with my grandpa and help him work on the cars."

Natalie, now 14 years old, started racing midget cars when she was 7, and blew the competition away.

"She went out in her first race and lapped everybody," said her grandfather and crew chief, John Waters. "In her second race, she went out and lapped them all a couple times. I'd be like, 'Natalie, what got into you? How come you're going so fast?' She says, 'Grandpa, I just wanted to win a trophy.'"

"Towards the end of the season, I was beating everybody," Natalie said. "So we said, OK, it's time to move up to the big track."

Now Natalie is beginning her first season racing sprint cars against grown men twice her age, who can't believe they're getting beat by a 14-year-old girl.

"Yeah, they'll come up and talk to my grandpa, and he'd be like, "Oh no, she's the driver,'" she said. "They're like, 'Oh, whoa, I didn't know that.' He's like, 'Yeah and she's only 14.' Their eyes would get really big."

"She's the youngest person ever to drive a sprint car on asphalt in the state of Utah," Joh said. "So that's a big thing."

There is, of course, an element of danger involved in racing. Last November, Natalie got into a pretty nasty crash in Las Vegas.

"I rolled it and hit a car that was in the wall upside down," she said "His tire came down and hit my head. It was a pretty wreck, but I didn't get hurt."

Whenever Natalie gets in the car, her mother Cassie has some trouble dealing with her emotions.

"I'm a nervous wreck when she's racing," she said. "I'm jumping and grabbing and screaming. But after her crash in Vegas, it did make me feel like the car is safe because she just walked away with maybe a little soreness."

Natalie has also become a role model for young girls who know they can go as fast as they want.

"One little girl came up to me, and she was like, 'How old are you?' I said 14. She was probably like five. She said, 'How old did you start?' I said I was about seven and she turned to her dad if she could buy one and she wanted to get into it."

At 14, Natalie doesn't have her drivers license yet, and Cassie has some empathy for the poor instructor when she takes her test. 

"Yes, I do," Cassie said. "He's going to be like, slow down!"

"I think I'm going to speed a little bit," Natalie admitted. "But it will be kind of hard when he asks me to turn right because I'm always going left."

Natalie's next race will be June 16th at Rocky Mountain Raceways, which has already begun its final season.


More Stories

Latest News

Video Center