PRO STOCK BIKE
© 1999-2001 Dwight Drum
"If it doesn't come from the heart, I don't do it."
Story and questions by Dwight Drum
(c) photos by Gary Larsen and Dwight Drum
Talking to Stephanie Reaves is like watching charm in motion as her external presence is attractive and polite, and her personality is sunny. Accompanying Stephanie's warm personality is an internal motor that seems to hum and produce a competitive racer who not only rides a Pro Stock Motorcycle but drives race cars as well. After a two-year absence she has recently decided to race bikes again, and the sport is the winner for her decision. Whether Stephanie is launching at the tree, preparing in the staging lanes, or signing autographs she exudes a colorful presence. Step into Stephanie's trailer with me and learn more about her image by reading how she responds to my questions.
DWIGHT CHATS WITH STEPHANIE …
What personal quality (one trait) would you want to be admired for the most?
Birth Town: Brunswick, Maine
Home Town: Bar Mills, Maine
What's most important?
"Being a good role model."
Do you have a nickname?
"'Steph' to my close friends. I don't like Stephie."
Who are your Heroes?
"John Myers, Dave Schultz, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods."
Are you pleased with life?
What could please you more?
"Qualifying and winning races."
When driving a car, do you always wear a seatbelt?
1. Yes. 2. No. 3. Sometimes?
Is racing your full-time occupation?
"Yes. I work for General Motors. For the last three years I've raced cars, like the Pike's Peak, for GM Racing. I do motivational speaking for GM."
Do you have time for a hobby?
"Fitness training, gardening, planting, landscaping. I love water sports and being a 'Soccer Mom'."
What vehicle do you drive on the street?
Do you work out?
"Oh yes, very hard."
Name one other sport, you feel you could master or be competitive?"
"Any kind of racing."
If you could make one part of your body stronger, what part would that be?
Do you have pets?
"I have two dogs…Labradors."
Do you have a special diet?
"I try to eat healthy."
What quality do you admire most in other people?
When frustrated. What do you do first?
1.Erupt. 2.Withdraw 3. Try to be cool.
"I go to the gym and work out."
What mental routine prepares you for each run?
"Practicing the launch. I try not to over-think, and let it come natural."
What are (or have been) your scariest moments?
"I was hit by a drunk driver when I was nineteen. That crash totalled both cars. I had head trauma for a while and missed my junior and senior year."
What do you do to unwind?
"I work in my yard. Play with my kids, and read books."
If you could change one thing about drag racing, what would you change?
"Lowering the ticket prices for the fans."
When asleep do you ever dream you are racing?
Where do you find the most peace in your life?
"With my kids at home. Oh, and I go with Meredith Schultz down to the Florida Keys."
You're a skilled racer… On public highways, what's different about you and other drivers?
"Anticipating things to go wrong. I do that by looking ahead, down the road. I don't get frustrated or have road rage, because I know the other drivers are not professional"
What do you worry about the most?
"That something would happen to me, and my girls would be motherless. Jennifer is ten, Vanessa is five."
Can you describe the G-forces at the tree…the launch?
"If it 's a good pass it feels like a bear leaving the line. It's hard to describe."
What does your fastest speed feel like?
"Hard to slow down."
Most people learn something from mistakes. What mistake caused you to learn the most?
"All of them."
Who means the most to you?
If you could acquire three traits from three people, what traits would you take from whom?
" From my dad, not letting anything bother him…from my kids, more energy…from Meredith Schultz her constant and ever-optimistic person."
How did you get started in drag racing?
"On a whim. I grew up working things with my dad. The reward for performance was driving. I street raced when I got my license. They called me 'Daisy Duke' in high school. I don't condone street racing now."
In a few words, how would you sum up…yourself?
"Driven, fair, and full of heart. If it doesn't come from the heart, I don't do it."
"It's good to be back. I got license driving Pro Mod Bikes, and I've been racing bikes since I've was nine. A lot of people help. Bob Thompson helped with tools. I lost my toolbox in my divorce. I've worked with Dave Schultz and John Myers, so I'm hardly a rookie. These last two and a half years are the longest I've been off a bike. When I tested, it was a great feeling to come back and know the skills were back too. Now we need to get the tune-up back. "
Many glamorous words jumped to my mind when I was trying to decide on one word for Stephanie Reaves. It's easy to find adjectives and nouns for photogenic women, but it's not so easy finding a final word that describes a pretty woman who races like a hurricane wind. I believe I found one that defines beauty and action. Gary Larsen agreed. Stephanie Reaves is the…