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Florence teen showing off-road racing isn't just for the boys

Posted at 7:26 PM, Dec 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-22 10:42:57-05

When you first meet Mia Chapman, you probably wouldn't know she races cars in the Arizona Desert.  “I started racing when I was so young. I started when I was 6,” says Chapman.

The only female off road driver in the world sponsored by Red Bull, Chapman was signed by the energy drink company as a surprise, back in August.   “My parents actually knew 3 months prior to when they announced it.  So, I had no idea.”

Chapman grew up around off-road racing. Her dad raced moto-cross.  And though it started as just something for fun, Mia quickly developed into a skilled driver.  And has quickly made a name for herself, in a male dominated sport.  She credits the adrenaline rush for having drawn her into mod-kart racing.

“Just because I’m a girl doesn't really set me apart from anybody else.  You know I still have 2 feet and a step on the gas pedal too.”

And that's not all she has a step on...Chapman, also competes with a local cheer team in her spare time.  Only having picked it up in 7th grade, Chapman's coach asked her to return to the team this season, even though she'd miss a lot of time due to her race schedule.  “In competition cheer, it kind of has the same concept you know.  We all want that same thing too, but we have to work for it.”

The team is scheduled to go to Orlando for the USA cheer nationals competition, but Mia will have to miss it due to her race obligations.  The family says the obligations to Red Bull come first….and they should.  As they pay for her trips to races.  And with the season being February through November, she doesn’t have much spare time anyways.

To accommodate her busy schedule, Mia is enrolled in K-12, Insight Academy of Arizona.  Which is not a homeschool program, rather a virtual school where Mia has teachers available to her all day.  She’s given midterm assignments, and can finish them at her own pace.  And being the go-getter that she is, Chapman often finishes her schoolwork before it’s due.

And at just 15 years old, Mia sees a bright future for herself, and the future of females in racing.   “I see myself going up, and definitely be in anything I can get in to, and take advantage of every opportunity. But as long as it's racing I’ll be happy.”

Mia can also be seen in the upcoming Netflix documentary, “Mod-Kids USA.”