Gracie Trotter: The Future Is Bright for Bill McAnally Racing’s History-Making Driver
Just as the 2020 racing season was getting warmed up, Gracie Trotter, one of Bill McAnally Racing’s newest additions to its driver roster, already had big plans for her rookie season. Following her family’s footsteps, this third generation racer took over driving duties in the #99 ENEOS Toyota Camry until COVID-19 called a halt to the ARCA Menards West series, forcing teams to wait patiently for the green light to resume competition.
Once racing got back under way, there was no stopping Trotter, who began to stack up career best finishes — the biggest one being her General Tire 150 victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where she became the first female winner of an ARCA Racing sanctioned event!
We caught up with Trotter shortly after the historic win to see how life has changed and where she sees herself as her racing career progresses:
1) Now that your historical win in the #99 ENEOS Toyota Camry has sunk in, what’s the memory that will stay with you?
Having my dad and my longtime Late Model crew chief, Bond Suss, there with me. Both of them have been with me through my Stock Car racing career from the beginning, helping me get to where I am today, as a person and a driver. We’ve had more downs than ups, which is part of racing, but they’ve helped me learn how to deal with the good and the bad. Seeing how proud they were in Victory Lane was a memorable moment — we’ve worked really hard for this, so it was very special to have them there!
2) If you weren’t racing Stock Cars, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t racing I would definitely be a forensic scientist. Forensics was my favorite class in school and it’s something I’m still very interested in. This may sound cheesy, but I’ve watched all 406 episodes of “Forensic Files!” (laughs)
3) Racing runs in your family. Did you always have a passion for it?
I’ve always had a passion for racing. If you visit my website, there’s a photo of me sitting in my dad’s racecar when I was around three years old. Ever since then, I’ve been at the race track with him almost every weekend.
4) What key factors got you to where you are today?
Hard work, mental toughness, and a positive attitude. You have to outwork your competition and have mental toughness when things get hard, such as having a bad race. But you take what you’ve learned and move on to do better in the next race. A positive attitude is very important: you have to believe in yourself, and especially your team. When you tell yourself positive words, positive things will happen.
5) What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced pursuing a racing career?
Like many other drivers, the biggest challenge is mental toughness. Not many people see that from the outside looking in. When we have really bad days at the track, experience trouble with the team, or get into an incident on track that was out of our control, it’s hard to stay mentally tough. Winning is what makes it all worthwhile, and that’s why we do what we do!
6) Looking 5-10 years into the future, where would you like to be?
Looking five years into the future, I’d love to have a NASCAR Truck series championship under my belt. Ten years down the road, I want to be a NASCAR Cup Series Champion!
ENEOS wishes nothing but the best for Gracie in the years to come! To learn more, visit: https://www.gracietrotter.com/