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Mylee JoAnn Rhames already has 33 races to her name, just four months into her tenure

Matt Hollinshead,  |  Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Within four months, Mylee JoAnn Rhames went from getting behind the wheel of a stock car for the first time to practice runs and then frequent live action on the speedway.

In the process, the 12-year-old Farmington resident found her niche, her solace.

As she tallied each of her 33 total races, her desire to keep at it grew stronger. The adrenaline flows through her each time she circles around Fairgrounds Speedway up in Cortez, Colorado.

Mylee placed third in her May 17 debut, which was just the beginning. She finally won her first race last weekend, and she’s has placed in the top five in all but a couple races thus far.

“One day, I don’t know how to drive. Now I’m like kind of actually doing good at this thing… I sort of never even thought, imagined I’d be doing this,” she said. “It pumps your adrenaline up a lot… Especially when we have our off weekends, I just want to go out there and go race.”

Because Mylee was brand new to the experience, her family understandably set the bar low and merely hoped she’d avoid getting into an accident on the track.

She did get in an minor accident in her debut after getting side-swiped, but that wasn’t the end of the story.

It was the complete opposite, in fact.

The number of races and strong finishes accumulated, and she quickly exceeded expectations.

“Every time we go out there, it’s surreal. She is just amazing,” said Shelley Rhames, Mylee’s mother. “She goes out there, she goes for it and takes the fear out of me because I see her being so confident.”

Mylee’s been hit by other cars on the track. She’s spun out and even ran head-on into a pole or hit the grandstand. She’s experienced it all, except for rolling the car.

And yet, she’s continued on, fearless and battle-tested with all those races now under her belt.

Mylee’s now bracing for race No. 34, venturing back up to Fairgrounds Speedway on Friday.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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