The WSM Rising Star Awards have been provided to up and coming championship caliber racers for over 20 years. This year there were four recipients chosen to test with World Speed Motorsports. Past award recipients have gone on to race in Formula One, win races in NASCAR, win the 24 Hours or Daytona and 12 Hours Sebring, and secure the Indy Lights Championship. For the fourth consecutive season VMB Driver Development was co-sponsoring the test, and would select one driver to receive a scholarship into the 2017 Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear in a GEN2 FormulaSPEED.
15-year-old Courtney Crone from Corona California was the driver selected to represent VMB in 2017. “All the drivers did incredibly well, as we expected they would,” noted WSM Team Owner Telo Stewart. “It is great that we were able to provide the testing opportunity to these young racers, and help them learn more about working alongside industry professionals. We expect to see great things from this year’s award winners, based on what we have seen from our past selections. We are also excited to add Courtney to the team for 2017, and look forward to working with her next season!”
About Courtney Crone
Courtney began racing at age four in Karts, and quickly progressed into Quarter Midgets. Courtney went on to become a California State Kids Kart Oval Champion, secure 8 Quarter Midget Championships, and set 2 Quarter Midget World Record Qualifying Times. Trying her hand at 2-wheel competition, Courtney raced Speedway Motorcycles, winning 12 Speedway main events and capturing 2 Youth Speedway Bike Championships.
In 2015, Courtney Crone moved up into cars and won her 1st Sprint Car and 1st Ford Focus Midget main in her rookie season. In 2016 she was selected and honored to be a Women’s Motorsports Foundation Project Podium recipient by retired Indy Car racer Lyn St. James and her peers. She won the 2016 Perris Auto Speedway Young Guns Championship in Sprint Cars with six wins, and also won three out of three Formula Mazda races in 2016.
“The Formula Car Challenge is exactly where I wanted to position myself for 2017,” noted Crone. “My father and I have been working on 1 year and 5 year racing plans my whole life. All of my racing in the past was laying the groundwork for what I want to do in the present and in the future. I am Indy Car bound and have been chasing the dream since I was 9 or 10 years old. With Formula Car Challenge being a step of the Mazda Road to Indy Driver Development Program it is a natural fit for me. I am honored to have been selected as this year’s VMB Scholarship winner.” Courtney’s father Jack Crone added, “Courtney and I are both thrilled and honored to be selected for 2017. Telo and Steve did a great job selecting the 4 drivers and all looked to have good potential.”
A Note From VMB President Steve Brisentine:
What an exciting day at Buttonwillow Racetrack for these four young and up and coming drivers. With a full year’s scholarship at stake for the 2017 race season, the young drivers went through multiple track sessions, interviews with VMB and World Speed Principals and critiques from Professional Drivers and Coaches.
After a full day at the track, the selection team evaluated all aspects of driving, coach-ability, constant improvement throughout the day, and eagerness to advance in the sport of racing. All of the drivers were strong in certain aspects. The overall scores lead to one driver at the end of the day. VMB Driver Development and World Speed Motorsports would like to congratulate Courtney Crone on securing the 2017 VMB Scholarship.
We wish the other Rising Star Award winners much success in racing this next season and we will be following them on their progress! Thank you all for making this decision a very tough choice as you all are great athletes as well as fine people.
We would also like to extend a special thank you to all the people who made the shootout such a success including, Dean Case and Mazda Motorsports, Goodyear Racing, Molecule Sports, Eric Purcell and EFM Racing, Carter Williams, Jonathan Sugianto, Jaden Conwright, Turnology, Jeffrey Thielscher from RealFast.TV, Trevor Anderson from PowerAutoMedia.com, and the World Speed Motorsports crew.
VMB Driver Development, LLC