NASCAR Newcomer Makes Visit to ERAU

Cassandra Vella/Staff Reporter

Sarah Cornett-Ching paid a visit to Embry-Riddle’s Human Performance in Extreme Environments organization on Feb. 17, 2015 to share her thoughts on racing, welding, and culture.

Sarah Cornett-Ching is 23-year-old stock car racer from Vernon, British Columbia, Canada and came down to Daytona Beach to race in the Lucas Oil 200 presented by AutoZone on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. She is currently in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.

During the Valentine’s race, she placed 31 out of 40 and has since been offered a few more contracts to race in Daytona. Being a stock car racer prepared her for her races in NASCAR, but nobody could have told her how extreme she would be racing. She told the club about the much faster speeds and laps that she had gone through over the weekend and how she had to endure much harder g-forces than some of her usual races. As a cooling and hydrating technique, Ching typically fastens a Camelback to her lap and chest, but with the big race nerves setting in, she forgot to fasten it well. Within the first few laps, her camelback flung across her racecar and chapped lips.

In Cornett-Ching’s downtime, when she is not racing or preparing for one, she is a welder for a few pipe construction areas in Canada and along the U.S.’s east coast. She typically welds pipelines that deal with transferring natural gas underground, such as the one in Dawson Creek.

On Feb. 17, Dr. Christina Frederick managed to contact Sarah Cornett-Ching in time to plan a guest speaker event at the Human Performance in Extreme Environments Club’s bimonthly meeting. It was here that she enthusiastically shared her personal experiences with a group of diverse majors, relating to everything from engineering to computer science to human factors.

When asked about her thoughts on the future of gender equality in racing, Ching answered how it is difficult to predict, as with the Aviation field. Both areas are always moving very quickly and changing daily, so she could not tell. To her, and many women of both fields, the male- dominating statistics do not seem to be as big of a deal as some of the media may make it out to be.

Sarah Cornett-Ching fit right into the Human Performance in Extreme Environments Club with her enthusiasm and her extreme life and hobbies. Being offered to participate in a race at Daytona International Speedwayshe opened a window of opportunities for which she is greatly excited and that will allow her to work a lot more in Daytona Beach in the future.

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