By Jeanne Sager
May 7, 2002 LIVINGSTON MANOR:
Name: Stephanie Babich
Hometown: Livingston Manor
School and grade: Livingston Manor Central School, 12th grade.
Family: Stephanies parents are Diane and Thomas Babich. She has two sisters, Valentina and Christine.
Favorite sports: Basketball, soccer and softball.
Ultimate athletic goal or dream career: To go to college and become an elementary school teacher.
College plans: I plan to go to Sullivan County Community College for two years and then hopefully transfer to (SUNY) Oneonta, Stephanie said.
Favorite school subject: Gym.
Stephanie Babich is holding her own.
The only girl in the four cylinder stock racing class at Kauneonga Speedway, Babich knows she can beat the boys.
Its quite intimidating, she said. But it looked like a lot of fun.
Babich isnt one to be intimidated by a sport. Shes been playing basketball since fifth grade and softball and soccer since seventh grade.
Because Babich loves children and sports, shes begun helping her mom, Diane, as an assistant American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) coach.
I like little kids, she explained. And Im working with seven or eight-year-olds.
In addition, Babich has been a Girl Scout since first grade, and earned her silver award last year. Shes been secretary for her class for the past four years, and has been involved in ski club.
I like to be active, Babich explained. I like always having something to do, and (by) playing sports I get to be with my friends.
Said her mom, Shes very busy, in addition to all she does at school she works one day a week at the local grocery store, Pecks.
Im very proud of her, Diane Babich added.
After accompanying her father, Thomas, to races at the local speedway, Babich decided she could go out there and race too.
The sport doesnt require any training just a drivers license, which she has had since turning 16.
So she and Thomas built her own car, a four-cylinder Chevy Cavalier, and she headed out on the track.
At first I was a little nervous, she said, especially to be racing against a group of boys.
But the other racers have adjusted well to the new girl on the track, and Babichs getting into the groove and having fun.
Babich just began racing last month so she hasnt won yet, but she wants to keep racing through the summer after graduation.
To keep her mind focused on racing, Babich watches NASCAR races on television, rooting for a fellow Chevy driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.