Tina Ronning Ready to Carry Success into Upcoming Season

After beginning to find success behind the wheel, Tina Ronning is ready to take the next step of her racing career in the upcoming 2023 season as she makes the jump to the mini stock division behind the wheel of a new Chevrolet Cobalt.

“I will mainly be racing at my home track, Merrittville Speedway, with hopefully some races at Humberstone Speedway and Ohsweken Speedway as well,” she told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “I will still be running enduros, especially the end of the season 100 lap enduro and ladies race at Wreckfest at Merrittville Speedway. A goal of mine is to be able to race a bus as part of the bus races at Merrittville Speedway as usually it is a male driver behind the wheel and I think it would be good for the young female fans to be able to cheer for a female behind the wheel.

“All in all, I want to represent Ladies of the Oval the best I can, and be able to reach as many fans as I can. I thought of doing some videos of what a typical race night is like and the days leading up to race day getting the car ready. I also think that social media is an important way of reaching a larger audience, so I will continue to update my racing pages on both Facebook and Instagram. Finally, I am looking forward to hopefully adding more new sponsors onboard, and potentially being in the running for rookie of the year.”

The potential is there, as evident by the past success she has been able to put together, which she says is owed back to her father and crew chief Terry Ronning for his guidance, knowledge, perseverance, and overall love of the sport.

“He has encouraged me to stay consistent even if we have a rough night, and helped to make sure that we are ready for battle again next weekend,” she explained. “Racing has always been the way that we bond the most. It started off with friends of his behind the wheel, then he started racing, and then I wanted a taste of what it was like to be behind the wheel. From the day I ran my first ladies race I knew I had fallen more in love with the sport than I ever thought possible, especially since I grew up at the race track every weekend from a young age.

“Success can be perceived in many different ways, not just winning races. A part of my success is definitely the people I have met along the way. My racing family is always there to lend a helping hand or a piece of advice, a pat on the back, words of encouragement, endless laughs, and they stand behind me no matter what. As long as I am able to race, and still feel pure happiness behind the wheel and love for the sport, I feel successful.”

That said, she has proven her ability behind the wheel with a couple checkered flags under her belt, including her first heat win in her first year of V6 / Pure Stock competition. She noted the checkered flag helped prove her ability to be competitive, and helped grow in confidence as she tries to reach the next step.

Fortunately, she will have a lot of support in her corner this season, as she is one of the three drivers that will be supported by Ladies of the Oval through their sponsorship program, joining Kaisha Zimoch and Kassy Howard. Ronning points out not only is it a truly honor to be recognized, but be able to represent dirt racing.

“As one of the few female drivers in Niagara, it means a lot to me to be given this platform to be able to gain the attention of other females and inspire them to also follow their dreams,” she added. “This opportunity will help me in more ways than one, while also being able to shine some light on Ladies of the Oval as not just an organization, but also a family. I want to thank Randi Butler and Samantha Shaw from Ladies of the Oval for everything they do and I am excited to work with them this season. I also am blessed to have a whole family of ladies standing behind me and I hope to meet more of you this season and be a proud face of Ladies of the Oval for 2023.”

The honor allows her to continue inspiring the next generation of female racers, which is something Ronning has always inspired to do, hoping to offer a sense of belief they can do whatever they put their mind, too. It is why she calls the fan appreciation / autograph nights her favourites of the season in getting to meet a mix of young and old supporters.

“I also love being able to meet fans who stop by the trailer after the races during their walks around the pits,” she continued. “It gives me a feeling of success that even though racing is something that is a hobby and brings me happiness, it also has an impact on other people and that means everything to me.”

It’s why when asked to offer a piece of advice to the ladies out there, she kept it simple in saying they can absolutely do it.

“I did not start racing at a young age, in fact I was in my early 20s when I first got behind the wheel of a racecar,” she explained. “I started off just doing ladies races, which turned into a full season of enduro racing, and since then I have raced in a division while also competing in enduros whenever I can. I feel that enduro racing is a good way to get comfortable behind the wheel and to learn how to race against other people of various skill levels. It teaches you how to get a good handle on the car, take the turns, avoid any obstacles such as parts on the track or other cars, etc.

“Although I did not start racing in go-karts, sometimes I wish that I did and I would also encourage any young fan that wants to start their racing career in go-karts to give it a shot. I love going to watch on go-kart nights and seeing all of the young future racers so excited and ready to turn some laps.”

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