Most days of the week, Sophie Partlow is a mild-mannered freshman at Portland High School. But on Friday nights in the spring and summer, Sophie is the driver of the #13 go-kart at Owosso Motor Sports Park.
Sophie’s mother Hope Partlow says, “Sophie started racing when she was 7 ½ in Vestaburg. She races on a dirt oval track. She has been racing at Owosso Motor Sports Park for the last two seasons and will begin her third season in April.”
Racing runs in the blood in Sophie’s family. Hope says, “Her dad and myself have always been into cars. Her dad raced in Eagle during their summer festival, and motor cross when he was a teen. My family has been racing in Crystal for years. He wanted to get her into it, and she has been going strong ever since.”
While Sophie has developed her skills as a driver, Hope says, “It hasn’t been easy. She has had to fight hard for every victory. There is always someone with a faster car, that’s just racing. Last year she had the most victories ever in a season, and she took second place, only 60 points behind the leader.”
Even with this success, not many people know about Sophie’s success on the track. Hope says, “She is very humble, and shy about this, so we try to help her out when we can.”
Sophie races with two different motors. She has an ‘animal motor,’ which runs on alcohol and a ‘clone motor’ that runs on gas when she races in Ohio.
The Partlow family is grateful for several sponsors for Sophie’s racing. Local Electrical Union 665 and NECA are two of her sponsors.
Hope says, “Divine Auto Body also paints her car for her every year. She has had every color from gray with pink flames, bright green, red white and blue and this year it’s a dark blue/purple metallic. S&S Machine Tool out of Grand Rapids buys her motors for her every year, and locally Michael Culp at State Farm insurance sponsors her as well.”
2018 may be Sophie’s last year racing go-karts, but it sounds like her racing career may be far from over. Her mother says, “She is getting excited to start racing, and next year may transition into a car and race at either I-96 or Crystal, she isn’t sure yet. Either way it is great family fun, and she has a lot of friends at the track.”