The Natenstedts, Shawn (pictured on the outside) and Missy (inside), have raced each other in the IMCA modified division for eight years. The married couple with two daughters enjoys racing together, despite different approaches to driving.
“Our differences start with driving style,” Shawn, of Fernley, Nevada, said. “I’m aggressive getting into the turns, and I drive it sideways. She drives in straight and turns the corner like an asphalt driver. She always has control of her car no matter what. I’m on the verge of out of control.”
Despite their contrasting styles, both find success.
“He tells me to be more aggressive and to use two feet when I drive,” said Missy. “But, I have beaten him to the finish line. The last time was at Fernley 95A Speedway. He got by me when I hit a rut, and then a lap later he hit the same rut and I drove right by him.”
Missy introduced Shawn to the sport for the first time in 1998.
“It was love at first sight — a beautiful girl took me to the stock car races,” Shawn said. “As soon as I saw how exciting the races were and how much she enjoyed racing, I went right out and bought a car.”
While Shawn raced he encouraged Missy to get behind the wheel, too. Missy started out in a stock class before joining her husband in the modifieds.
“We’ve never really crashed into each other,” said Missy. “He’s moved me out of the way. I wasn’t mad, but some women said I should kick his butt. We got a good laugh over the incident. I feel racing should be fun — if it isn’t, we shouldn’t be in it. We’re lucky to be racing together.”
The Natenstedts share the joy of each other’s on-track successes.
“I get more of a sense of accomplishment when she does well than when I do well,” Shawn said.
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 50th year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.