Meet Tara

Meet Tara, a 16-year-old aspiring NASCAR Engineer from Rockwell, NC. This amazing young woman stands out for her kind spirit and wicked sharp mind. Tara’s love for NASCAR began when she was just two years old, as her family would go watch races at their grandma’s every Sunday. Her admiration for the sport runs deep and has been a source of strength in her darkest days.

At the start of high school, Tara started to experience high levels of anxiety, which grew so severe that she ended up in the hospital due to heart complications. After working with her doctors, and with the support of her family, Tara started learning new coping skills.

She said she learned a lot about life and how to live with her anxiety, through her passion for NASCAR. She watches how teams and drivers adjust to adversity and the obstacles are thrown their way. It has taught her that she can have control in how she responds to her own obstacles, and how to find her power living with anxiety.

NASCAR is more than a passion for Tara, it’s her biggest source of inspiration, AND it’s her future.

Tara has always had a high standard for everything she does. That’s a big reason why her favorite driver is Ryan Blaney. She admires his humble character, his dedicated work ethic, and his team-first priorities. However, Tara’s admiration doesn’t stop there. One of her favorite things about racing is the fact that it takes a village to make it on that track. From the pit crew to the mechanics, to the engineers.

Tara’s ultimate sports dream is to not only meet her hero, Ryan Blaney, but to go behind the scenes of pit road, and learn from those she looks up to the most.

Tara's Dream

Tara’s NASCAR Dream with Ryan Blaney was a weekend that we will never forget!

On Saturday, Tara was fully surprised by the Dream Team knocking at her door letting her know that her Dream started NOW! Her day was full of fun surprises including lunch, go kart racing, laser tag, mini golf, and dinner at the Speedway Club.

On Sunday, the Dream Team headed to Charlotte Motor Speedway in style giving Tara the opportunity to ride in a Shelby! Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Ford Mustang for Team Penske was impressed to say the least. Tara was over the moon meeting her idol who treated Tara as if they had been friends forever. Tara, an aspiring NASCAR engineer, was able to attend the pre-race drivers meeting, which she absolutely loved. She also received a tour of the hauler and met members of Ryan’s pit crew…as well as Roger Penske himself!

Ryan went out of his way to introduce Tara to her second favorite driver, Bubba Wallace, which was an extra fun surprise for Tara. She was also able to meet Carson Hocevar and William Byron, two other drivers she admires. Tara was thrilled!

Tara, who lives with severe anxiety, was also able to sit in and sign the Team Wheelhouse Porsche. Individuals are invited to sign the hood as a reminder that we’re all on the same team when it comes to mental health. Signing the hood, you join the team and break the stigma surrounding mental health. Making this even more special is that Tara’s grandma, who inspired her love of NASCAR, used to race Porsches in the 1970’s. How cool is that?!

Tara and her family watched the race from a pit suite, giving them an up close and personal view of not only the race, but also pit road! Tara loved being able to see how Team Penske worked together throughout the race.

Special thank you to Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Wheelhouse Media Foundation, and Charlotte Motor Speedway for helping to make Tara’s Dream come true!

Dream Snapshots

Dream Reels