Maryeve Dufault may not be as famous on the track (yet) as Danica Patrick, but she is certainly off to a good start as the driver behind the wheel of Team Strange Racing’s No. 46 HotRVBrands.com Ford Fusion in all scheduled ARCA Rcing Series presented by Menards events throughout the country this season.
Born February 16, 1982 in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec) Dufault began following her father and brother by racing motorcycle, beginning at age 4, then racing motocross before moving on to go-karts at 8-years of age. She began competing in several series both in her native Canada as well as the US (including the Rotax International Series), and won several karting championships before moving up to formula racing, including Formula BMW USA, the Skip Barber Racing Series, Formula Russell, Formula Renault, Pro Star Mazda, and Formula 3, scoring podium finishes and a number of victories in a range of series. Maryeve has also performed precision driving for Honda, Polaris and Yamaha, and has also extensively tested Formula cars in China and Great Britain.
Dufault began Stock Car racing in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series in 2010 by racing in two events. She made her ARCA debut at Daytona in February 2011; by December she had made fourteen starts in the ARCA Racing Series with one top 10 and six top 13 in her first year in stock car racing; her first top 10 being a tenth place finish at Chicagoland Speedway. She finished the ARCA season sixteenth in the series points standings, despite missing five races during the season because of a lack of sponsorship..
That won’t be a problem this year. In fact, Dufault and her No. 46 team kicked off the season with an excellent showing in the ARCA Lucas Oil 200 February 15th, in which she led for 4 laps (after starting 35th), beginning on lap 21 and stayed among the top 5 drivers for the next 28, before being forced to pit under a green flag. She eventually finished 18th.
“I couldn’t be happier. To lead at Daytona was a dream come true,” she remarked. “I think we proved we could run up front and be a contender."
Default’s next test will come March 22nd in the ARCA Mobile 200 in Alabama.
Note: Dufault was not only the first female race car driver selected to be part of the Dodge Motorsport driver development program, she became the first Canadian woman to race in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series when she made her debut at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on August 20, 2011. At the time she was listed as one of the "Top female drivers in racing today" by Fox Sports, and was also named as one of the "Top 12 Up-and-Coming Female Drivers in Motorsports" by Bleacher Report.