Canadian race car driver Amber Balcaen has often been referred to as the “underdog of NASCAR,” because of all the adversity she’s overcome to rise the NASCAR ranks. Amber has quite the racing background, but she gained even more popularity as she made her way into television in 2017.
Amber is a third-generation race car driver who came from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Not only is she extremely motivated in her career, but she also inspires countless other women in the world. Balcaen regularly breaks barriers for women in the racing industry and proves that anything is possible if you truly dedicate yourself to it. She’s had some pretty amazing accomplishments throughout her years, so we’ll start from the beginning.
Amber Balcaen Racing Career
Amber has been surrounded with racing since she was born. Her father, Mike Balcaen, was a 48-time track champion, and her grandfather, Lou Kennedy Sr, was a Hall of Fame driver. Her racing career started at the age 10, when she found herself racing dirt track go-karts. She proved her talent out on the track and racked up tons of victories. Not only that, but she was typically the youngest driver as well as the only female driver competing. She purchased her own Lightning Sprint Car when she was 16 years old. Not long after that, she became the first female to win a dirt track racing championship in Manitoba.
By 2014, she was driving a 410 Outlaw Sprint car for Apex SpeedSports. These cars are no joke. They make right around 800 horsepower, so you better know what you’re doing. Amber proved that she definitely knew what she was doing, as she went on to claim Rookie of the Year. Her skills on the track and her overall ability impressed NASCAR, and they eventually invited her to be in the NASCAR Driver for Diversity Program.
It was at this point that Amber made her transition into stock car racing. She was the first person from her racing family to make the move from a dirt track to an asphalt race track. Although it was a big change for her, she absolutely kicked ass during her first season on hard ground. She found herself behind the wheel of the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Limited Late model race car under Lee Pulliam Performance.
During her first full season, she managed to grab top 5 in 11 races, top 3 in 7 races, and earned Rookie of the Year within 12 races.
In 2017, Amber participated in her first start in the Nascar K&N Pro Series East at New Smyrna Speedway. During 2018 and 2019, she even drove a few races for Kyle Busch Motorsports. In 2020, Amber went back to dirt track racing, competing in the National Powri Midget racing series for Ripper Motorsport. Today, Amber races for Bill McAnally Racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
Amber was a business graduate, which helped her immensely when it came to another major milestone in her career. She started her own company, Amber Balcaen Racing, Inc. In fact, all of her sponsorship developments came from her own efforts, so this girl is no stranger to getting things done on her own.
TV Career and Racing Wives
As the female driver began to accumulate followers and make a name for herself, she utilized her voice through her social media accounts (@AmberBalcaen10 on Instagram and Twitter). Even today, she inspires people around the globe through her career efforts.
In 2017, she made a few television appearances. She was a TV personality for News Rising, then later appeared as a co-host for Season 3 of Cars That Rock with legendary rock and roller Brian Johnson. In 2018, Amber was also a celebrity guest for Fins and Skins Classic Adventures with Henry Waszczuk.
Her big TV break came in 2019, when she appeared on the CMT TV show Racing Wives. The show starred such NASCAR wives Samantha Busch and Whitney Dillon and touched on what they did in their personal careers. Amber Balcaen was on the show not as a wife, but as a woman that carved her very own career in auto racing. The show particularly gave an inside look at what the driver had to endure in order to land sponsorship for upcoming seasons.
Amber loves helping people reach their full potential. What’s even cooler is that she seems like an extremely genuine type of person who’s incredibly fan-friendly. Her personality on the track is a whole different story, though, because when that race car fires up, it’s game on.
We look forward to seeing what else this amazing racer is going to accomplish in the upcoming years.
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This post was originally published on May 27, 2020.