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Maryeve Dufault (born February 16, 1982 in Sorel-TracyQuebec) is a Canadian[1] racing driver, model and advertising spokeswoman. She has raced in the Skip BarberFormula BMW,Formula RenaultStar MazdaNASCAR Canadian Tire SeriesARCA Racing Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. She has appeared on numerous television series.

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 [hide*1 Personal life

Personal life[edit]Edit

In the early 2000s Dufault moved from her native Quebec to Los Angeles to puruse her racing career.[2] She currently resides in the heart of stock car racing country, Mooresville, North Carolina.[2]

Racing career[edit]Edit

Dufault's father and brother raced motorcycles in Quebec.[3][4] She began riding as a four year old,[2] then racing motocross and turned to go-karts as an eight year old.[3] By the time that she was nine years old she had broken both arms while racing.[5] She began racing karts nationally in Canada and the United States in several series, including the Rotax International Series, winning several karting championships. She later moved up to formula racing, including Formula BMW USA,[3] the Skip Barber Racing Series, Formula Russell, Formula Renault, Pro Star Mazda, and Formula 3, scoring podium finishes on several occasions, and captured victories in several series. Dufault has also performed precision driving for Honda, Polaris and Yamaha, and has also extensively tested Formula cars in China and Great Britain.[6]

Dufault began Stock Car racing in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series in 2010 by racing in two events. She signed as a driver development contract with the FAZZT Race Team in 2010,[7][4] and was the first female race car driver selected to be part of the Dodge Motorsport driver development program.[citation needed]

In early testing of her ARCA Racing Series car at New Smyrna Speedway and Daytona International Speedway in January 2011, Dufault impressed NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski.[8]She made her ARCA debut at Daytona in February 2011; by December she had made fourteen starts in the ARCA Racing Series with one top 10 and six top 13 in her first year in stock car racing;[9] her first top 10 being a tenth place finish at Chicagoland Speedway.[10] She finished the ARCA season sixteenth in the series points standings,[11] despite missing five races during the season because of a lack of sponsorship.

Dufault made her NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on August 20, 2011 driving for MacDonald Motorsports.[10] As the team was in the top 30 in season car-owner points, she was guaranteed a starting position;[12] she started 39th and finished 30th with a transmission mount broke.[9][13] She was the first Canadian woman to race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series since it took that name.[14] Dufault was listed as one of the "Top female drivers in racing today" by Fox Sports,[15] and was also named as one of the "Top 12 Up-and-Coming Female Drivers in Motorsports" by Bleacher Report.[16] In addition, Dufault competed in the inaugural Dodge Viper Celebrity Challenge at Miller Motorsports Park in October 2011, competing alongside racing legends such as Roger PenskeKurt Busch and Allen Johnson.[17]

Dufault was featured on a Press Pass trading card in 2012.[18] A lack of sponsorship delayed the start of her 2012 season.[19]

In 2012, Dufault participated in the 'Drive for the Fans' social media contest, representing Fiat Abarth.[20]

After competing in three ARCA Racing Series events for Carter 2 Motorsports in 2012, Dufault joined Go Green Racing for the 2013 season, impressing the team during testing and being assigned to drive in a Nationwide Series race for the team at Chicagoland Speedway.[21]

In November 2013, it was announced that Dufault would drive in the full 2014 ARCA Racing Series season for Team Strange Racing,[22] as well as competing in twelve NASCARNationwide Series events for Go Green Racing.[23]

Media career[edit]Edit

Dufault won Miss Hawaiian Tropic International in 2000,[4] beating over 35,000 competitors for the honor, becoming the only Miss Hawaiian Tropic International ever from Quebec and only the third Canadian winner.[citation needed] Her main participation reason was winning prizes included a motorcycle and Jet Ski,[8] as well as prize money to keep racing.[24] She was invited to the United Service Organizations "USO" tour, Operation in Kosovo, Bosnia and Macedonia.[5] She has appeared on a number of television shows and movies like DrivenEntourage', Relative Strangers', The Bold and the Beautiful,[2] Jay Leno's opening show and including the American game show "The Price is Right" during the Bob Barker era.[10] [25][26] She modeled in the August 2011 issue of Maxim.[2][25] She also acted as a stunt driver for the movie Fast Girl.[27] Dufault was invited to participate on the show The Insider,[28] as well as onE! News to talk about women in racing and the difficulties of competing in a male dominated sport.[29] She has also been featured by Sports Illustrated as their "Lovely Lady of the Day".[30]

Dufault said that she models to earn money to be a race car driver. "I wasn’t buying myself clothes. I was buying tires," Dufault said to the New York Post. "I am a racer who uses modeling jobs to pay my bills."[3] Dufault said she still gets the questions and the puzzled looks as some folks struggle to understand her preference for the noise and smoke at the race track over the glitz and glamour of the modeling world.[24]

"Sure, some people think it is crazy, but I know where my heart is. I'm a race car driver, and I want to be known first for what I accomplish on the track. We all took different routes to get here, but every driver wants the same thing. You want to compete, and you want to win. My passion is here at the track."

—Maryeve Dufault, Toledo Blade interview, May 12, 2011.[24]===Charity work[edit]===

In 2010 Dufault raised US$10,000 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation,[citation needed] as well as participating in a Bermudan trip to raise funds for the Syncairly Yours Foundation, a charity for uninsured mothers with premature babies.[31]

Motorsports career results[edit]Edit

NASCAR[edit]Edit

(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Nationwide Series[edit]Edit

  •  Season in progress 1 Ineligible for series points

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