Driver of Week, Abby Sinon’s Fearless Nature Fueling far more than just Karting Success
GoPro Motorplex Karting Challenge Presented by Hoosier Racing Tire Yamaha Senior driver, Abby Sinon is a quiet, 15-year-old high school sophomore who always wears a warm smile. But, behind her soft demeanor is a strong and fearless personality with a passion for the adrenaline rush of high speeds, rollercoasters, tubing on the lake and even haunted Halloween attractions can’t spook her.
However, what makes Sinon truly fearless is her ability to conquer any new experience that may seem frightening at first and turn it into a long-term success. Something she has ultimately mastered through karting. Her road to success in karting, while tough at first, challenged her fearless nature, triggering a true sense of confidence and even playing a part in shaping her future career goals.
No, she doesn’t have dreams of being a race car driver. Rather, Sinon wants to become a doctor, specializing in cardiology.
“I do think my karting will carry over to my future career as a doctor,” said Sinon. “I don’t think I will be scared to do things where the pressure is high. If it’s my first time doing something, I won’t be terrified to do it. I will remember that I have to try hard and even if I’m not perfect at it, I can practice at it and work at it more to get better.”
Through karting, Sinon was able to learn that the key to conquering any fear is to never give up.
“I was hesitant to start karting at first and even scared the first few times I went out on track,” said Sinon. “I was nervous to stall the engine and scared to spin out on every turn.”
Sinon even described her discouraging moments of having to get towed off the track as the “ride of shame” after spinning out during her first laps on track.
Father, Jay Sinon, who encouraged his daughter’s entry into karting, remembers clocking her beginning practice laps at nearly two minutes. Knowing that competitors in her division were racing with lap times well under a minute, even Jay worried at first that Abby wouldn’t want to stick to karting.
Even though it wasn’t a smooth start for Sinon, little did she know, it would be this difficult start that would inspire her mindset to change and give her a can-do attitude that she will use for a lifetime.
“I definitely think karting has changed my mindset and confidence,” said Sinon. “I have played several instruments and have sort of always just given up on them. However, once I started karting, I never once thought about quitting. I just wanted to keep practicing and trying to get better at it.”
It didn’t take long for Sinon to shake that beginner’s fear either. Now, three years into karting, Sinon has a second place finish in 2013 and a third place finish in the 2014 Yamaha Junior Division Championship series. This year, she moved up a division into Yamaha Senior and is currently leading the championship standings going into the final round after an impressive year, scoring four wins and seven runner-up finishes.
“Now, I go into the turns at full speed without even thinking about it, whereas the first time out I was barely hitting the gas,” laughs Sinon.
Fearless as always, she’s certainly a testament to never giving up; something we are confident will keep her future patients healthy and podium finishes plenty.
Learn more about our Round Ten Driver of the Week, Abby Sinon, as we sat down to ask her a few questions:
Hometown: Mooresville, NC
School: Visual and Performing Arts Center Student at Statesville High School & Mitchell Community College
Favorite Subject: Science
Favorite Food: Pizza
Pets: Dog and a Hedgehog
Hobbies: Softball and animals
Favorite Track: GoPro Motorplex & Carolina Motorsports Park
Years Racing: 3 years
Chassis: Kosmic Mercury
Q: You have been karting at GoPro Motorpex since we opened in 2012. How did karting start for you?
A: Well, my dad worked with Dan Breuer at the NASCAR Technical Institute and Mr. Breuer told my dad all about how the kart track was opening in Mooresville. My dad came home and asked both my brother and I if we wanted to start karting. My brother said no and I was pretty hesitant at first because I didn’t know what I was getting in to. But, once we finally started, I was like “Oh, I really like this, I’m glad I chose to do it.” Abby’s dad adds, “And now all she wants to do is go faster and faster!”
Q: You listed your dad, Jay, as your crew. How has karting affected your relationship with your dad?
A: My dad and I have always done things together. But, with my brother Jimmy playing hockey, my dad and him were really able to bond over that. So, karting has been that one big thing that my dad and I actually have bonded over.
Q: How did you decide to start in the Yamaha division?
A: At the time we started, there was no Briggs Division. So, encouraged by Mr. Breuer, the Yamaha Division was really the best place to start for me.
Q: How was the move up from the Yamaha Junior Division to Yamaha Senior this year?
A: It was definitely hard to move up this year. I had all my friends in Junior and we would all work together and try to kind of beat each other before actually competing together.
Q: What is your favorite corner at GoPro Motorplex?
A: I really like Turn Four with all of the speed and forces pulling against you. I’m really fast in that corner, so I usually pass a lot of people there.
Q: Do you struggle in any corners at GoPro Motorplex?
A: I definitely struggle in Turn Six. I think I have gotten a lot better, but still have room to improve. I need to work on my braking point and corner entry.
Q: What is your biggest accomplishment in karting so far?
A: Definitely getting second overall in the 2013 Yamaha Junior Championship, but I still strive for a championship.
Q: And you are right on track to score a championship this year in Yamaha Senior! How do you feel going into the final round leading the points?
A: I definitely am pretty nervous. I’m not that far in front of second place. I think it’s just 15 points separating us. I feel a lot of pressure going into Round 10 because it basically comes down to whoever wins the race in the final round next Saturday. I put some pressure on myself to have fun, but do good every race, though. Not just this one.
Q: What would it mean to be champion in your first year in the Yamaha Senior Division?
A: I would be really happy if I was the champion. I would be a little discouraged if I get second place, but I would know I tried my hardest. I would definitely not stop racing or get too down on myself or ever stop trying my hardest, it would just a hurt a little to not win.
Q: What’s next?
A: We just bought a TaG kart and next year I’m going to move up to TaG Senior. Lately, we have been spending some time testing a dirt track kart too, so we might do both. The TaG kart is a lot faster so I am really looking forward to racing it and the competition is at a much higher level in that division.
Q: What would you tell someone who is thinking about getting started in karting?
A: Maybe to try renting a kart first to see if they like it. If they do, then definitely get into it. But, if they don’t, that’s not a bad thing either. Just to try it first and see if they like it. I definitely want more people to start karting, though!
NEXT UP: See Abby in Action in Round 10, Oct. 24:
The championship and final round of our 10-round club series will be on Saturday, Oct. 24. The series features 10 divisions for kart owners as well as the Rental Kart Light and Heavy division. Each segment of the Karting Challenge Presented by Hoosier Racing Tire consists of two practice sessions, qualifying and two finals per division. The race day starts at 8:30 a.m. and spectator admission is free! Competitors can pre-register in advance at a discounted rate on MotorsportReg.com. For more information on the Karting Challenge series, CLICK HERE>>
Immediately following Round 10 will be the 2015 Championship Banquet. For ticket information and banquet details, CLICK HERE>>