14-Year-Old Takes 1st at Desert Thunder Raceway


Photo by Danny Valenzuela of Famous by Morning Photography

Press Release

Mylee JoAnn Goldwich-Rhames placed first in the IMCA Sport Compact division on Friday at Desert Thunder Raceway. 14-year-old Goldwich-Rhames is from Farmington, New Mexico, and ranks first in Junior National Champions and second in Lady Eagles.

In 2020, Goldwich-Rhames started racing in the youth class and this is her first year racing in the IMCA Sport Compact division. She drove a car for the first time when she was 12 years old, then three days later, competed in her first race.

“When I’m driving, my adrenaline just goes, and somehow I know what to do when the next move comes up,” said Goldwich-Rhames, who uses her instincts to avoid accidents.

“People are blown away by her quick eye,” said her mother, Shelley Rhames. “When she gets back, she’s just so excited.”

Goldwich-Rhames races all over the Midwest but particularly likes racing at Desert Thunder Raceway and Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, Arizona. While she finds it scary, she enjoys competing with older and more experienced drivers. Aside from one driver who refused to race against a 14-year-old, she finds the racing community to be friendly and helpful.

“Everyone is respectful and treats me like family. At one race at Desert Thunder, it was just my mom and me and I needed some help changing tires. My mom asked a driver for help. He didn’t even know us but he just helped us,” she said. “Someone told me, ‘We’re friends in the pit, but business on the track.’”

“I never dreamed my child would take up racing because she’s so shy. But the first time she raced, she went out there and beat the boys,” said Rhames. “She’s in this field that is dominated by men, some have been racing for 30 years, and all the sudden she comes in and is taking over.”

“We’re all excited about Mylee JoAnn. She is a young lady full of potential,” said Erin Weybright, owner of Desert Thunder Raceway. Co-owner Shane Weybright said the Sport Compact division has grown rapidly over the past three years as the younger generation is becoming interested in dirt track racing.

In September, Goldwich-Rhames will race at Super Nationals in Boone, Iowa. She has a goal to move her ranking to first in Lady Eagles and climb the IMCA Rookie National point rankings. She likes to cook and roller skate in her free time.

scroll to top