Race car driver, Julia Landauer, motivates women off the track: 'Excited to challenge them'
MILWAUKEE -- When people hear the words "racing" and "women," most will likely think of Danica Patrick, but there is a new role model for female racers and she's also motivating women away from the track.
At just 26, Julia Landauer garners attention just about everywhere she goes.
"I'm really always excited to get in front of a group of people and really challenge them to be (themselves)," said Landauer.
Sometimes it's on stage, and other times it's behind the wheel.
"Getting in a race car still makes me the most nervous because I've invested 16 years of my 26-year life into racing," Landauer said.
Landauer has been racing since she was 10; first in go-karts and most recently in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
"My goal at racing is to win at every level I compete at and eventually become a NASCAR Cup Series champion. That's the goal right now," said Landauer. "I have won two championships already and multiple dozens of wins, so I'm really excited about breaking more history and make records."
Being a woman in a male-dominated sport doesn't slow her down. It just makes her more inclined to win.
"Show that women can do it. It's tough. It's going to be challenging, but if we persevere and work really hard and we have a little bit of luck, I want to prove that we can do it too," Landauer said.
While Landauer inspires with her driving, the 2014 Stanford grad is also impacting others with her words.
"I give a lot of helpful reminders about what human nature is like, and where men and woman and girls and boys might be treated differently, and the main message of my discussions is to really strive to be your best self -- take that ownership over your life and go do whatever it is you want to do and do it well and do it with purpose," said Landauer.
That message was spread to a large group of women at Mount Mary University.
"We are trying to raise the visibility of women in leadership and women in unconventional types of disciplines and careers," said Mount Mary University President Christine Pharr. "This provides an opportunity for someone like Julia, who has really been successful, to really get in front of us and tell us her story and help us understand how she got to where she did."
And there seems to be plenty more "laps of success" still out there for her.
"If I can continue to do what I love with racing and with empowering woman and people and advocating for STEM education and leave some kind of legacy that helps empower other people, I'll consider myself pretty successful," Landauer said.
Besides being a Stanford grad, a motivational speaker and a race car driver, Landauer also was on a season of the show "Survivor" while in college, but didn't walk away with a win there.