Behind The Wheel - #9 - Kylee Van Buren
A need for speed (that she didn’t know she had) is what got her hooked-on racing. Kylee VanBuren is 25 and lives in St. Charles, Michigan with her husband Justin and 2 dogs, Hazel and Cleetus. Kylee graduated in 2015 with her associates in medical assistance, went back to school for massage therapy that she will be completing in January of 2022 and after a few years, she sees herself back in school to get her doctorates in chiropracting. Kylee found herself in the drivers seat, racing, for the first time this year, and since then, she has always wanted to jump back in the car and continue racing.
In 2016, Kylee met her now-husband, “He was all about cars. We had his and hers g8, and I didn’t do much with mine, it was just a daily. We started messing with the 2nd G8 and racing it”. Kylee spent a lot of time in the garage with her husband and listened to him constantly talk about cars and got to learn things herself from the time spent with him. “I didn’t start racing until this year. I kind of took over with a need for speed, the adrenaline just gets me going. As soon as I’m out of the car, I just want to get back into it”, she says. Since getting into racing, she says her husband has been her number one supporter at the track, alongside with the CT Performance crew that will help critique and teach her everything she needs to know.
Kylee found herself at the Indy SCT event this past July and competed in the Women & Wheels class for her first time drag racing. “Justin pushed me a little, I was into roll racing. I was nervous to do my first burnout and was worried I was going to mess up and I just didn’t know how to do it’, she says. Kylee found a love for all things drag racing she tells me, “I love drag racing more than roll racing now! I just love it”. Kylee lined up first round against Lexx Steen, “I was nervous! She’s fast and races a lot! But she spun off, so I won that race. I made it through 2 more rounds and was out after that”, Kylee tells me.
The car that Kylee has been racing is a 2009 Pontiac G8 with a 416CI stroker motor and D1 Procharger. The next goal for the car is to install a 2-step launch controller and adding an air to water intercooler getting rid of the air to air that is currently on the car. She is hoping to see a 9 second pass next year as well! Kylee has personal goals as well, “My goal is to race the G8 more and learn more about it. Justin is always calling me in the garage and teaching me stuff like how to change my own oil. My next goals would be to see more seat time and become more consistent”.
Kylee thinks Women & Wheels has done a lot for women, especially women like her. “I think it made us more comfortable racing. It’s fun competing with the guys, but with girls you don’t have the stress. Most guys have been racing for a while, some girls have too, btu there’s a lot more different experience levels involved in this class”, she says. Kylee’s advice for any lady wanting to become involved would be, ‘Get to know someone with a car and talk to them about the experience and how they got involved. Be around someone you’re comfortable with and start learning the basics of a car and continue from there. I didn’t know I like cars this much until I met my husband.” Kylee has quickly found a passion for all things fast and I cannot wait to see where this continues to bring her.
You can find Kylee on IG @kvanburen_g8.