Changing Stereotypes, Racing with the Guys

By KBJR News 1

July 1, 2013 Updated Jul 1, 2013 at 6:40 PM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- Rita Malo is a hairdresser by day and a racer by night --- in fact, she's one of only four women that races dirt track around the Northland.

"You know it's hard, me being a girl in a male sport, but I take it head on," Malo said. "Most of the time they treat me as a racer and not a girl beating them and it makes me feel pretty good too."

While Malo is good friends with the guys off the track, it doesn't make it any easier when she beats them.

"I think it does hurt their egos a couple of times when I beat them," she said. "They try to not show it, but I get it."

Malo gets her passion for racing from her father, who used to race during the 1960s and 1970s. Now, he's his daughter's biggest fan.

"There are a couple of times where he's said I've been better than he ever was," Malo said of her dad. "I don't know if that 100 percent true, but it makes me feel good."

Even after she's had four years experience, Malo's dad still gets a little nervous when she's on the track.

"I've rolled over a couple of times, got in some pretty serious accidents," Malo said, "and he's the one at the entry wondering what happened and if I'm okay or am I hurt."

Malo's mother, Josie Anderson, though, knows it's all just a part of the sport.

"I've been asked that several times, 'Aren't you afraid? Aren't you scared?' But honestly, I'm not," Anderson said. "She's had some rollovers, but you just kind of catch your breath and move on."

In fact, Anderson says she'd rather see her racing than going that fast around other cars.

"She was scary driving with in a vehicle," Anderson said of Malo. "I remember that teaching her to drive. Having her on the track is probably better than having her on the street."

Posted by Zach Schneider
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