in Jacksonville, Florida, Patty Moise is one of the few women today
who makes driving a car a full-time career. Patty loves speed and
'going fast' as evidenced by the cancellation of the Moise Family's
auto insurance when she was a youngster due to all the tickets and
accidents. It seemed only a logical step for her to follow in her
father's steps and take the dive into professional auto racing in
1981. It would soon prove to be a major uphill battle when it came to
sponsorship. Without a sponsor, it's a profession that only the
independently wealthy can afford. She told USA Today in May
1996, ''You can't compete at this level without the sponsors.
And once you get a sponsor, you are an advertising mechanism -- you
are working for someone else, and you feel the pressure to do well.''
Patty, with a business degree from Jacksonville University, quickly
discovered that forty percent of race spectators are women and used
that fact in her negotiations to acquire a sponsor. In the sanctioned
racing field of NASCAR Winston Cup, there has been only one driver
with a college degree and that was Allan Kulwicki, the 1992 Winston
Cup Champion who died in a tragic plane accident at the beginning of
the 1993 season. Patty will be the first woman racer (Provided she
makes it to the Winston Cup) and the second driver to have achieved a
completed college education.
Patty spent her first five years driving road courses and in 1988 began driving the ovals.In 1986, she became part of the ARCA series and in 1990 married race rival Elton Sawyer. Also in 1990, Mike Laughlin put her in his race car for a full time season. Having little success she went back to part time driving for the next three seasons. In 1994, Both she and her husband acquired full-time sponsorship in the Busch Grand National Series, which is one step away from Winston Cup.Elton moved to Winston Cup in 1996, often also running Busch races when possible. The two achieved a dream come true when Patty began driving their co-owned #14 Dial-Purex Ford in the Busch series. About her husband in USA Today May 1996,Patty said ''Because this sport is so time-consuming, I think it would be hard for anyone else to understand the commitment,'' Moise says. ''I don't think any other husband would understand."
At Talladega Speedway in 1990, Moise broke the one lap closed course speed record when she drove 217.498 miles per hour, shattering Bill Elliott's Talladega speedway qualifying record of 212.229 miles per hour at Talladega in 1986. However, Elliott's record still stands for 'Winston Cup' records. That record was then broken by Indy racer Lyn St. James in May of 1992. (but then everyone knows that the Indy cars and the Nascar stock cars are two totally different breeds of animal) In 1995, she set a qualifying speed record at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Patty stands alone as the woman in the series with the most career starts at 115 plus.
Although 1997 saw her start only one race, an announcement in October shows 1998 as very promising as she said in an online chat that she will be driving the MichaelWaltrip owned #14 Rhodes Ford on a full-time schedule.
GO GET 'EM PATTY!
Fan Club Address:
Sawyer/Moise Fan Club
PO Box 77919
Greensboro, NC 27417