Racing is in Shayna Texter‘s blood. Her grandfather raced dash automobiles; her father raced bikes. Her household owned a Harley-Davidson dealership. Shayna was on the again of a motorcycle at age 3. With that pedigree, it is tempting to suppose that changing into who she is in the present day the solely lady on the American Flat Monitor (AFT) tour, the winningest rider in her class was inevitable. The reality is that she’s fought tooth and nail for her profession and her success.
AFT is simple to grasp: bikes energy round an oval observe that ranges from a quarter-mile to a mile round. The bikes hit speeds as much as 140 miles per hour on the straightaways and are outfitted with solely a single set of rear brakes. Sliding into turns, mere inches from one another and typically making contact, racers crash incessantly, and accidents may be horrific.
That is the sport that Shayna Texter was born into, though it did not, at first, appear to be her future. Shayna’s dad, Randy, was a skilled AFT racer, and his profession meant that hers took one thing of a backseat. “I focused more on being a normal kid,” she advised POPSUGAR. She went to highschool, performed soccer, and raced on the aspect.
Shayna began racing professionally at age 16. It was a tough begin. She simply could not get that first win beneath her belt; she questioned her choice to go professional. Then, two years later, Randy handed away. Past the emotional toll, his loss of life left Shayna’s career in turmoil, as the household offered off property together with the vans that she used to get to races and a stake in the Harley dealership to cowl a few of his debt. “I pretty much went from having all the tools, everything I needed to be a professional flat track racer, to having nothing,” Shayna mentioned.
Her willpower to maintain racing, even with out the assets, even with out the outcomes, got here from Randy. “I went through a lot with my dad, and saw a lot of obstacles that he overcame,” she mentioned. “It gave me that determination to continue pushing, to try and be somebody in the sport.” Shayna’s targets have been clear. She did not simply need to be the first lady to win an AFT race; she needed to develop the sport, to push it ahead, to encourage a new era. “I wanted to make a difference,” she mentioned.
Three years into her skilled profession, Shayna won her first race. It was a “crazy experience” that began with a textual content from her older brother that learn, “I think you’re going to win today,” and ended together with her outracing her future boyfriend, Briar Bauman, to develop into the first lady to win an American Flat Monitor race. “It was huge,” Shayna mentioned.
Since that first victory in 2011, Shayna has racked up extra wins than another energetic racer in the AFT Singles class. That is an unbelievable accomplishment, but it surely’s not what she’s actually hungry for. “I want to become the first female to win an American Flat Track championship,” Shayna advised POPSUGAR. “To stamp myself into the sport, at the end of the day, I want to become a champion.”
Her quest to take action has helped to convey publicity to a sport that was determined for it. Flat observe is now a a part of the X Video games lineup, and races all through the season are broadcast by NBCSN. Shayna herself is at a degree of recognition all her personal. When she’s launched at the begin of a race, the crowd roars. She’s signed with Purple Bull, who produced a 15-minute documentary on her profession that is racked up almost Three million views on YouTube.
As the solely feminine on the observe, Shayna’s used her platform, as a lot as doable, to additional not solely her personal profession however the sport that has given her a lot. She desires to see extra followers getting , extra younger folks attempting it out. And greater than something, she mentioned, “I would love to see more women on the track and just more women involved” in the motorbike scene. That shift is already beginning to occur. Shayna already sees extra ladies in the stands, popping out to look at her races. “They see that I’m doing it, and believe that they’re also capable.”
The help that Shayna will get as the solely lady on the observe, as the winningest rider in her class, fuels her. The publicity pushes her sport ahead. At the similar time, “I’ve always said I wanted to be considered a motorcycle racer first and a female second,” Shayna mentioned. “When I have my helmet on, I’m just a competitor to the guys, and they’re just competitors to me. At the end of the day, we’re all racers.”
Picture Supply: Laura Barisonzi / Purple Bulletin