Written by Donna Bell and Photos by Riley Motorsports and ZeroedN Photography
I just had a great conversation with NASCAR Late Model Stock Series driver Emilee Riley, who is driving for Riley Motorsports LLC in the Pull-A-Part #21. She is truly a Georgia peach and someone who I can relate to.
When I asked Riley about some on track incidents that have stuck with her, she told me about one time when she was running her Quarter Midget car and her car started flipping. I asked her how she felt being in the car and flipping and Riley let me know that she thought that it was so much fun, especially when she landed upside down on top of another car. She said that while she was hanging upside down in her upside down car that she was just sitting there talking with the driver who she landed on! I like this girl!
Then there was the time she was road racing in the Mini Cup Series at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, GA. Riley was in the S curves but was in the wrong gear on the inside when another girl turned down on her causing Riley to hit the wall and knocking her out, causing a concussion and a trip to the hospital. The race was stopped while the safety crews tended to Riley. Because she was knocked unconscious and unable to answer anyone on the radio, her mom was understandably upset and concerned about her daughter’s condition and couldn’t get to her, Mom actually picked up a trash can and threw it. I’m liking Mom now too! The girl who turned down on her intentionally was black flagged because of her actions.
So I wanted to switch things up a little and asked Emilee about some of her accomplishments and she let me know that she won the Pro Truck Series 2 years in a row. Quite an accomplishment for this young driver, and then she related this story to me.
They did the preview weekend in the Pro Truck Series at the Snowball Derby held every year at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola Florida. There were just the three of them there that weekend, spotter, father and racer verses 30 other trucks. They ended up with the check for the fastest time! And when I say the fastest time, it was during the last practice of the day and she said “we can do this” when Riley set the fastest time and actually broke the track record. Gas on Emilee!
During the last race of last season, they were blowing the good motor they had and Jimmy, who is her spotter, said that if you do this time he would do cartwheels. She hit that time not only once, but twice. And true to his word, at the conclusion of the race, there was Jimmy doing cartwheels. A great time was had by all, just another day at the track.
As Emilee makes her way to the Cup series, I wanted to know what her racing nickname was and she said she actually has two.
The first one she got early on while racing the Quarter Midgets. They called her Rippin Riley. Then later on, while working with Dan Elliott who is brother to NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, Dan gave her the nickname of Rowdy Riley.