As of press time, no woman has won a feature in the NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series or the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League.
Winning a feature in both is a goal of Holley Hollan, of Broken Arrow, Okla., and many people believe she has the background, equipment and passion to accomplish it.
Hollan, who turned 18 last month, is a fourth-generation racer. She’s a daughter of Harley and Frannie Hollan, and her father is a businessman and racer, primarily in 600cc micro sprints.
Holley Hollan has been racing micros since she was five. She entered her first midget race last year, and she’s been running in both USAC and POWRi midget events this season.
One of her father’s businesses is Driven Performance Midwest in Tulsa, Okla., which is an extension of the performance speed shop Driven Performance in Fresno, Calif.
The company’s D1 chassis is especially well known in 600 micro sprint and junior sprint competition. Harley Hollan won the 2018 POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro League championship driving for his business.
His daughter works there through the week and races on the weekends.
Tulsa is a hotbed for all sorts of micro and midget racing and is, of course, the host city of next month’s Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
“The Shootout and the Chili Bowl are 15 minutes from the shop and I always went there with my dad,” Holley Hollan said. “When I turned 16, I got to run there. For as long as I can remember it’s been a big part of my life.”
After racing for BOSS Factory Racing in 2018, Hollan became part of one of the top midget teams in history — Keith Kunz Motorsports.
With that arrangement, she became part of the Toyota Racing Development program, which is a significant accomplishment in its own right.
Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports (holding two other famous racing names) is the reigning NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series team’s champion. The organization has won eight of the last nine USAC national midget owner titles, including seven straight from 2012 through ’18.
The car Hollan drives for KKM is a Bullet by Spike with a Speedway Engine Development Toyota engine. Her SiriusXM Radio sponsorship comes through Toyota.
How did she get to drive for the team owned by Keith Kunz and Pete Willoughby?
“I started racing at a few of the POWRi events and got in front of Keith,” Hollan said. “They had been scouting out female drivers, and a lot of it was performing well at the right time.
“It’s great to be racing with Keith,” she added. “The whole team is determined to develop drivers and help them be the best they can be. It’s a prestigious team, and it’s great not to be worried about your equipment. I’ve been very lucky and I’m thankful for that; just being confident in your equipment and in yourself is important.”
“Holley has come a long way in one year,” Kunz said. “She’s close to putting it all together and winning. She’s still learning how to run the whole race and finish strong. But from the beginning of the year until now she’s gained a lot of speed. She’s close.”
None of it is easy.
She finished sixth out of 162 drivers in the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League standings.
“Holley has come a long way in the two short years she has been racing a national midget, and has won several heat and semi races,” said POWRi founder Kenny Brown, who noted that Hollan’s best finish in the series is a second-place effort.
“She has finished in the top five three times and the top 10 15 times,” Brown added. “She made 27 of the 28 features this year. She is going to be very competitive in 2020 and she could become the first female to win a POWRi national midget race. With her knowledge of the outlaw micros, it has made it easy for her to understand the mechanics of a national midget. We are proud to have her represent POWRi.”
As the December issue went to press, Hollan ranked 18th in USAC points. She ultimately advanced two positions to end the year 16th in the USAC standings.
“This season has been a roller coaster for me,” Hollan explained. “Racing is like an extreme sport and you have to take it like it comes. But I’m focused 110 percent on chasing my first national win.
“It’s unbelievable to me how big midget racing is right now,” she added. “I think we’re in an era that is producing some of the best midget drivers ever. In July I contended for a win and finished second in a hard-fought race. I was upset that I didn’t win, but with how tough midget racing is right now, it was good to know that I’m capable of winning. It is just making me better.
“If you compete against good people, it will make you better and I’m thankful for that.”
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