Cherokee woman fulfills auto-racing dream
Cherokee Nation citizen Kristin Treager stands at the podium after finish third in the 2013 Porsche Club of America Cup Car Challenge Series. Treager has been racing since she was 7-years-old. COURTESY
Cherokee Nation citizen Kristin Treager’s 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car has the CN flag on the driver’s side along with her name. Treager’s helmet also bares the CN flag. COURTESY
Cherokee Nation citizen Kristin Treager co-hosts “The Car Guy Show,” which is based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Treager began racing in the International Motorsports Association GT3 Challenge on M15 in Florida. COURTESY
TULSA, Okla. – Many young girls dream of becoming a princess, but Cherokee Nation citizen Kristin Treager’s dreams were different when she was a child. She dreamed of racing cars. And now at age 26, she drives for the Wright Motorsports team and competes in a 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car.
“I started racing when I was 7 years old at Junior Raceway Park over on the west side of Tulsa. A retired, German sports car racer named Alf Gebhardt started the school for kids,” Treager said. “I went through his program. I won a championship through his program and fell in love with racing from the very beginning. I’ve basically been doing it ever since.”
Treager said her inspiration for racing came from her father.
“My dad was always very into racing, and he was a big Formula One fan. He got me into the school and I just loved it. He was my crew chief growing up as well.”
So far in her career, she’s won five championships: Junior Raceway Park Series Championship, Oklahoma Bandelero State Championship, COMMA Production Stock A Championship, La Luna y Sol 6 Hour Enduro Championship and the 2013 National Points Championship in the Porsche Club of America GTC4 Cup Car Challenge series.
Treager said she’s proud to have the latest championship because it was a national win. She credits her competitors for helping her get to a higher level of racing.
“We have a lot of tough competitions,” she said. “We had about 40 guys in our group, really good drivers, tough competitors, and I’m actually very thankful to them because they made me a better driver competing against them.”
Treager has raced all over the country including Texas, Kansas, New York, Wisconsin and Georgia. In her next series, the International Motorsports Association GT3 Challenge she will be racing in more states and even venture into Canada.
This series is a step above the one she competed in 2013. It is a support series for the United SportsCar Championship, which is where she said the “top dogs” compete.
On March 15 she began competing at the Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla. and on Oct. 4 she will wrap up the series in Braselton, Ga. She said she’s most excited for the Sept. 20 race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
“That’s the brand new Formula One track that was built specifically for Formula One. Beautiful track, I can’t wait to drive on it.”
When competing Treager will be in the Gold Class, which houses Porsche Cup Cars from 2013 and older.
This is Treager’s first full season in the series. She said she hopes to rank in the top three of the championship but is also gunning for Rookie of the Year.
Treager said she races within the Spec Series, which means the competing cars are essentially the same.
“They’re grouped to similar years, makes and models,” she said. “The good thing about a Spec Series is it relies on driver ability for you to succeed because most of the cars are basically the same. It takes skill and ability to be able to get a podium finish and a little bit of luck. It’s less about who has the bigger engine and more about driver ability.”
Treager’s Porsche displays the Cherokee Nation flag on the driver’s side along with her name and a design of a white tiger along the car. Her helmet will also feature the CN emblem and the American flag.
“In racing we usually have our nation of origin on our car or on our driving suit, so I chose to represent both the United States and the Cherokee Nation, since I am a citizen of both.”
Aside from racing, Treager is also an instructor at the Hallet Motor Racing Circuit, 35 miles west of Tulsa.
“It’s a 1.8-mile road course and I consider that my home track. I grew up there. I learned to race there,” she said. “I volunteer, and sometimes they pay me, which is nice. The Audi guys pay me to come in and teach for them, so I do Audi days. The dealership brings a bunch of their new cars in and their customers and I teach them how to drive their cars fast. I enjoy getting other people involved and get excited about this sport.”
She also recently began co-hosting “The Car Guy Show,” a 30-minute show based out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. ‘The Car Guy Show” premiered on March 1. Those interested can watch it at www.youtube.com/user/CarGuyShowTV.
Treager graduated from Northeastern State University-Broken Arrow with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She earned a juris doctorate from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 2013 and recently opened a firm with a partner in Tulsa named Boston Avenue Law.
For more information, visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KristinTreagerRacing
or follow her on Twitter @KristinTreager.
918-453-5000 ext. 5903