During the Indoor Auto Racing Championship’s Allentown Indoor Race, Morgan Rochelle Bealer had to juggle hats—and outfits—frequently. When she wasn’t racing her 600 sprint, Morgan performed her duties as Ms. Motorsports.
“I’ve been at racetracks as a driver since I was seven years old,” Morgan, 24, of Lehighton, Pennsylvania, said. “Since I was young, I wanted to be Ms. Motorsports. I love being on the other side of things, and I wanted to experience racing from Ms. Motorsports viewpoint.”
Just because she’s Ms. Motorsports, though, don’t think she’s any lesser of a racer. She qualified for the main on the first night in Allentown. Then, the next night, her passion for the sport came to a boil.
“I was trying for the transfer spot when a guy drove right through me,” said Morgan. “Neither of us made it. I remembered his number. In the B-main, I took him out. Most people know that when it comes to racing, I may be female, but I’m one of the guys. Nothing scares me at the track.”
Representing Women in Racing
She earned the role of Ms. Motorsports by winning the annual contest held during the Motorsports Racecar & Trade Show in Oaks, Pennsylvania. The competition isn’t only about looks, but also heavily factors in knowledge of the sport and one’s connection to it. Many previous Ms. Motorsports have also raced and came from racing backgrounds.
“People are excited to talk to a Ms. Motorsports who is a racer because they can connect on a different level — they are talking to a driver,” said Morgan.
Last season Morgan regular competed at a pair of Pennsylvania tracks — Blanket Hill Speedway in Kittanning and Hamlin Speedway. She competed for Gary Collucci, of Milford, Connecticut, as well as for her own family effort. Speaking of family, Morgan comes from one that has a bevy of racers. That includes father, Jason Rochelle; grandfathers Paul “Sandy” Rochelle and Ronnie Dunston; 10-year-old brother Ryan; and husband, Zack Bealer.
“Zack helps me a lot with Ms. Motorsports when he isn’t racing,” Morgan said. “He’ll be off to the side holding my crown or helping me with my sash.”
The title of Ms. Motorsports requires her to represent the crown at all Indoor Auto Racing Championship events and Super DIRT Week.
“Other than that, it’s up to me to make my own schedule,” said Morgan. “I made a list [of] not just big car races, but I included .25 midgets and micros, too. They are just as important to racing. I wish I could have gotten to more races, but gas prices had to be factored in.”
In total, Morgan traveled to 25 tracks and presented trophies for 40 events. While the Ms. Motorsports crown comes with $1,500, she invested her own money to make appearances. She fueled that effort by selling autographed posters for $5 apiece.
“That $1500 check only went so far,” Morgan said. “Outfits cost a lot of money, and then there’s gas, hotels, and food. Going into the pageant, I knew I would have to put some money into being Ms. Motorsports, but, still, I really wanted to do it.”
The Future for Morgan Rochelle Bealer
After a year as Ms. Motorsports, Morgan Rochelle Bealer will hand over the crown to the new Ms. Motorsports to be crowned this weekend at the Motorsports Racecar & Trade Show. For 2023, she’s looking forward to racing more for Collucci and venturing a bit more from her home tracks.
Nevertheless, Morgan remains thankful for the opportunity to be Ms. Motorsports.
“I hope what I did helps young women,” said Morgan. “I feel I did a good job juggling racing, working, and Ms. Motorsports. Women can do anything in life. Sure, there are sacrifices to be made. Young women can be part of motorsports in several ways. As Ms. Motorsports, they should be passionate about racing. They are there to uplift the sport. This isn’t a position that is just for yourself.”
The Outside Groove Director of Photography has written hundreds of stories since the website’s inception. This year marks his 54th 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.