By Ted Waddell
PARKSVILLE Rosalyn Trautschold, an 8-year-old third- grade student at Liberty Elementary School, just loves racing in the fast lane.
At the age of 5, Rosalyn started racing mini-snowmobiles and earned more than 75 trophies on the East Coast racing circuit, which goes all the way up to New Hampshire and Maine.
But her eyes have always been on tackling the dirt tracks at Hamlin Speedway in Wayne County, Pa. and Accord Speedway in Ulster County, just like her dad, Michael, who’s been racing for a while.
A few years ago, Michael Trautschold began competing on asphalt at Kauneonga Speedway in White Lake. But he soon developed a taste for dirt and switched to racing on tracks that featured dirt surfaces.
So for her birthday, Rosalyn’s parents bought her a $9,000 Slingshot by Tobias dirt car. She’s all set for her first dirt race on Saturday, April 25 at Hamlin Speedway, followed by her first competition at Accord Speedway on Wednesday, June 3.
Like father like daughter, both Michael’s race car and Rosalyn’s Slingshot take to the track adorned with the No. 28.
Slingshots were created by Rich Tobias and are manufactured by him at Speedway Entertainment in Lebanon, Pa.
The aluminum-bodied junior division cars (for boys and girls ages 8 to 12) are set up with 22-horsepower Briggs and Stratton V-Twin race application engines fueled by alcohol.
The cars are equipped with a roll cage and special safety harnesses.
“They’re designed to go counterclockwise, and in the feature for the money race at Hamlin [Speedway] the drivers go for about 10 to 15 laps,” said Michael Trautschold, who owns Quality Forestry Management, a logging and land-clearing business.
What’s his reaction to gearing up for his daughter’s entry to the dirt track racing circuit?
“I have some nervous thoughts on it, being a driver and knowing what it takes staying on a line and the attention it takes,” Trautschold replied. “She was very competitive in snowmobile racing, and my confidence [in her] is through the roof.
“Being a rookie is sometimes rough,” he added.
Looking down the racing circuit a few years, Michael said Rosalyn would like to someday compete in the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars series.
Michael explained that the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars series is “the highest-paying, fastest race on dirt in the world the only faster cars are NASCAR on asphalt.”
While her husband and daughter are out racing, Danielle Bivins watches from the pits.
“Oh, it’s nervous for me [because] I’ve seen what can happen,” she said. “We do dirt tracks only. We never watch NASCAR, that’s asphalt.”
Recalling Michael’s switch from racing on paved tracks to dirt, Bivins said, “Once he hit the dirt, that was it. He was coming home with 10 pounds of mud on the back of the car.
“She has a real need for speed,” Bivins said of her daughter Rosalyn.
Michael and Danielle’s younger daughter, Alisha, is a 6-year-old first-grader at Liberty Elementary School. She’s going to get a gocart for her next birthday.
“I know why mommy doesn’t race,” Alisha said while her older sister was being interviewed. “She’s seen too many cars crash, and she’s a chicken.”
Rosalyn’s Slingshot is sponsored by dad’s logging company, Rolling Stone Farm, JDP Graphics and Shakelton’s NAPA Auto Parts Center of Jeffersonville.
“I watched my dad [race], and it looked like fun,” Rosalyn said. “I think I’ll do pretty good!”
Along with all the sponsors’ names, her little blue and white race car is lettered with a bit of bravado on the roll cage which says that “Girls Rule, Boys Drool.”
So what’s Rosalyn’s goal when she goes racing against the opposite gender in the junior division?
“Beat ’em and take first place,” she replied.
To learn more about Rosalyn and follow her career as she takes to the dirt track in her Slingshot, visit her website at Rozyracer.com.