50-year-old rookie takes to the track

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 3, 2006

When most people think of rookie racecar drivers, young males come to mind. Rarely would their first thought be of a 50-year-old woman.

But that’s exactly what fans will see this year at Langley Speedway when Suffolk’s own Debbie Biesecker hits the track in her Chevy S-10.

While she will be a rookie on the local speedway, which kicks off it season Saturday night, driving competitively is nothing new to her. She has competed in the World Karting Association for 10 years.

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And racing isn’t anything new to her crew chief, and husband of 25 years, Chuck Biesecker. He has 12 years experience in drag racing and moved up to sports car racing. In 1995 he became involved in go-kart racing working as a track official and later a member of a pit crew.

Debbie first sat in the driver’s seat of a go-kart in 1997 and achieved two wins, a first and a second in her inaugural year. She has since competed and won on tracks in both Virginia and North Carolina.

For their rookie season at Langley, the Bieseckers purchased their “care-proven” truck and had it modified by Creech Motorsports Fabrication in Richmond. Those modifications included a custom built driver’s seat and the installation of the Hutchins II head and neck restraint, the same system used in Nextel Cup and Busch Series racers.

She also had a two-piece driver’s suit made, because, as she said, “One-piece driving suits are keeping women out of racing.

She said testing of the truck has been going well.

“We’ve been doing OK so far,” she said.

This will be Debbie’s first foray onto the asphalt track, as well as at the wheel of the truck.

She is not the only woman racing in the truck series, but she is the oldest.

And because of her age, when it came time to choosing a name for her No. 56 truck, she selected Mid-Life Crisis, or MLC.

When she’s not competing on the race track, Debbie is the manager of DeSigns, Inc., in Portsmouth.

Her truck’s major sponsor is Blanchard’s Tire and Auto Center, in Churchland. Associate sponsors include DeSigns, Inc., Domino’s Pizza of Suffolk and On Track Audio. She is also supported by AWC – Wood Cabinets, in Suffolk, and Blanchard’s Tidewater Wrecker Service. She also has a charity sponsor, the Crisis Pregnancy Center of Tidewater.