Sally McNulty is in her sophomore season with SRO, competing in TC America powered by Skip Barber Racing School in her #780 Honda Civic Si. After ten races she is currently seventh in TCA driver points having scored four top-five finishes, including two of the last three races. Will Sebring see her on the podium? We caught up with Sally as she prepared for the Florida double-header.
SRO: How did you get involved in motorsports?
SALLY: I signed up for a track day many years ago in my daily driver and I loved it. I kept moving forward to see how far I could get.
SRO: Any family history in the sport? Walk us through your journey to SRO.
SALLY: I am a first-generation racer and I have no support from my family to make this possible. There was a point in my life, when I was a young adult, that I couldn’t even afford a car and had to walk to work. I grew up in a small town in Missouri, and you would be hard pressed to find someone there who knows about touring car racing.
So being able to even compete in this sport with SRO is nothing short of a miracle. It has taken a lot of hard work and sleepless nights looking for sponsorships and partners to make this happen. But I love this series and will continue to work hard to find the funding.
SRO: Tell us about some of your build projects and how they relate to your racing?
SALLY: Not everyone wants to help you go racing. You must find that niche that helps you sell a story/program. I love cars, I always have. I love making vehicles my own and creating something with my hands. I started putting the builds on the internet thinking that someone might want to watch. And to my surprise they did!
I have built a 2000 Honda Civic hatchback from the ground up. I did an engine swap in my home garage, full suspension upgrades, etc. I’ve learned so much about car setup and mechanics. This translates so well to racing cars. I can get out of the car and be able to speak to the team about the car and talk to them about what might help correct the issue.
SRO: You have an interesting day job. Tell us about life in a Ferrari dealership.
SALLY: I do have an interesting job. A REAL JOB, I should say! Race car driving doesn’t pay the bills. I am a service advisor at a Ferrari/Maserati Dealership. Now I didn’t start working at an exotic dealership, it took seven years working as an advisor at numerous dealerships to get here. I won a national service advisor walk around competition and was crowned one of the top advisors in the nation. I worked really hard honing my craft to work here. It is probably the hardest jobs in the dealership. From working with the public, which can be trying at times, to working with the technicians, making sure things are completed by the client deadline etc. All of that but instead of it being a regular car, it is a $300,000+ car. This takes it to another level of attention to detail. Making sure every car is pristine and done in a timely manner. I do have to say that racing cars and doing a lot of mechanics myself has helped me when talking to clients about big repairs on these street driven racecars.
SRO: There is a funny story about your first race with SRO in 2021. Did you really show up with no crew?
SALLY: I have a very small budget which means sometimes you must make sacrifices. At the start of the 2021 season the crew that was going to help me wasn’t able to show up until the second day of the event. So, I towed my racecar behind my open trailer to the event, unloaded the car, got my paddock space ready, got through tech, and did the practice sessions by myself. It wasn’t easy but I really wanted to be there. I made it happen even if it took me doing all the work.
SRO: You recently joined up with Skip Barber. How did that come about? How will that accelerate your program?
SALLY: Recently I joined the Skip Barber Racing Team and I am honestly blown away by their preparation. They are so prepared and every worker on that team truly wants to see me succeed. NO ONE puts in a half effort. I am very thankful they allowed me to join. This is going to be the best thing that has happened to my racing career, and I know that it will only go up from here.
Back in 2019 I got my competition race license with Skip Barber at Laguna Seca in one of their Mustangs. It feels so nice to be racing under their tent!
SRO: Is it too early to start talking about 2023? What are your plans? What will you be doing in the off-season?
SALLY: No not at all! I’ve already started working on finding partners for next year. It is so hard to find these partners. I make a large PDF driver deck about my program and what I can offer these companies in exchange for monetary support. I make tons of cold calls to people I have never met in my life. You get a lot of no’s but then I get a yes, and it makes it all worth it. I wish sometimes that these companies I reach out to could see how hard I would work for them. 90% of the companies that sign on with me stay for the following years because they can actually see a difference in sales etc. They actually get a return on their investment. That is such a great feeling. For now I believe I will be racing with Skip Barber again in 2023.
SRO: Who do you want to thank for your season to date?
SALLY: Honestly, there isn’t just one person I want to thank. There is a huge group I want to thank, those who have believed in me, didn’t give up on me, have faith in me, and those who stuck with me. I couldn’t possibly write them all down because there isn’t enough paper in the world. But they know who they are, and I wouldn’t be here without them.
SRO: Any advice for those looking at the sport from the outside wondering how to get involved?
SALLY: Absolutely. Don’t get discouraged. Keeping fighting. Your time will come and all the hard work will be worth it!
SRO: Thank you for your time Sally. We’ll see you at the track.