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CASUAL COUNTRY 2022: Third generation racer Emily Thomas

Emily comes from a family of racers

With a degree in the arts majoring in theatre studies, it would seem unlikely that Emily Thomas would be tearing up the race track at Thunder Mountain Speedway.

But, that’s exactly what she’s been doing this summer as she keeps up the family tradition of racing.

“Racing for me is a fun hobby,” Emily explained. “It’s a big family get-together.”

The bubbly 24-year-old has always enjoyed a wide range of interests, even competing in ringette for Team BC in Finland and Sweden when she was in Grade 12.

She started school in Williams Lake before the family moved to Kelowna where she and her two older sisters were raised.

In 2020 Emily completed her Bachelor of Arts degree, with a minor in education, at around the same time the whole family decided to move back to Williams Lake, with her dad, Kendall Thomas, taking a position at Lake City Secondary School as an automotive teacher.

“He’s considered a real unicorn in the teaching world because he’s a certified Red Seal mechanic with a teacher’s degree and a masters in education. I still don’t think they replaced him in Kelowna.”

Emily is currently working at Mount Polley Mine as a mine operations clerk paying down her student loans with hopes of returning to school so she can eventually become a teacher like her dad, except specializing in theatre.

In the meantime, she plans to continue her hobby of racing where, this summer, she passed experienced drivers such as Brian Bettles.

“Brian is a good family friend so it’s always fun to do that,” Emily said, describing the race just after the win.

“I was racing in the heat race against a few other cars. I was fast time so I started at the back. I got pretty lucky, the front two cars got a little squirrelly, everyone else got squirrelly and I was able to catch up and get up front.”

Emily added it feels great to be a female racer among all the male drivers, and to be a third generation racer, coached by her dad and grandfather, Earl Thomas.

The family also owns CP Electronics and Finish Line Race Products, which sponsor Emily.

“She’s been working hard and she’s really coachable,” her dad said after her win.

“She keeps talking about racing all the time and she keeps making adjustments, and keeps getting quicker and quicker.”

Her grandfather is also proud of her achievements in racing.

“Emy’s done a great job here. She’s been getting better every weekend out.”

Emily’s dad races in the WESCAR Late Model Touring series while her uncle, Korbin Thomas, just won the Canada 200 at the last race to be held at the historic Westshore Motorsports Park track.

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Angie Mindus

About the Author: Angie Mindus

I began my journalism career in daily and weekly newspapers in Alberta.
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