Most high school students aren’t thinking beyond their next test or social activity, but 17-year-old racing star Kendra Adams plans to rip up the track during the 2017 season.
She’ll get some help from American tech company Avaya Inc. as an associate sponsor, and SE Telecommunications, an Avaya Edge channel partner, which will be Adams’ secondary sponsor for the fourth consecutive year.
SE Telecommunications will have their logo displayed on the rear quarter panel of Adams’ car, as well as embroidered onto her fire suit.
“Having Avaya on board this year is amazing and I’m so excited to work with such a supportive company,” the Innisfil, Ont.-native tells ITBusiness.ca. “They seem to have a real interest in being involved with me and my racing, which is really nice to have.”
Corey Mindel, Avaya Canada’s channel leader, calls Adams “an incredibly impressive individual and a great role model for young women everywhere,” in a Mar. 8 press release.
“Through our partnership with SE Telecommunications, we’re proud to align with this promising young driver as she continues to demonstrate her vast potential,” he adds.
Adams explains that the international company offers not only financial support but also a platform to market herself and the causes she believes in on a global level.
“It’s so great to have an internationally known company sponsoring me because it shows how a big player like them can believe in a local racer like me,” she continues. “Because they’re worldwide, they offer an amazing marketing platform, which can help me get noticed and also help the many charities I work with, like the Kids Help Phone and Laps for Muscular Dystrophy.”
Adams started competitive racing when she was 13 years old and watched her career take off in 2015 when she was the only Canadian selected for NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Youth Combine, a competition and development initiative fostering young race drivers.
“People don’t take me that seriously because of my age, and being a female in such a male-dominated sport means I’m usually the odd one out,” she says. “But I don’t think of it that way though, I’m like anyone else out there. If you believe in yourself and work for yourself, people will believe in you.”
After a successful rookie campaign last year with several top-15 finishes at her hometown track, the Sunset International Speedway, Adams has moved up a class in 2016 and is now competing in the Super Stock division with a new car.
“This is my first year in my new car so there’s definitely going to be a huge learning curve,” she says. “It’s such a faster car but it’s a step up and I’m racing with the best in Ontario, which hopefully is really going to improve my racing skills.”
Adams graduated high school a semester early in February to focus on racing, and plans to attend college this autumn to study marketing. She is also set to appear on The Fast Lane, a new Rogers TV show scheduled to air this June.