Toyota Dirt Driver Spotlight: Mariah Ede

Toyota Dirt Driver Spotlight

Mariah Ede

Keith Kunz Motorsports – MNL Plumbing/DB3 Toyota Spike

Age: 17

Hometown: Clovis, California

Now in her second full season with Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM), Mariah Ede’s journey so far has certainly been unique. The 17-year-old high school honor student is no stranger to competition, both on and off the track. She has made substantial strides already this season.  Coming off a seventh-place feature finish after winning her heat race at the most recent POWRi event, Ede also has registered multiple top-15 finishes in 40+ car fields in Xtreme Outlaws in preparation for a full season in the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series, which kicks off at Belleville, May 19-20.

  1. Mariah, when did you begin racing?

ME: I started racing when I was 10 years old in outlaw karts, then moved to micros and I began full-time in midgets last year. Early on, I raced mostly in California, at Chowchilla Speedway in Merced and also at Cycleland Speedway.

  1. What led you to race cars?

ME: My family actually has a pretty long history in racing. My great grandpa, Fred Ede, was the crew chief for Jeff Gordon, Jimmy Sills and Ryan Newman. My grandpa also helped with that. Then my father raced, and he also worked on cars.

  1. Race cars aren’t your only experience with horsepower, though, can you tell us about what else you’ve competed in?

ME: I actually competed in equestrian cross-country show jumping. I grew up on a ranch and we’ve always had horses. It definitely was a cool experience to be able to jump horses and I had a lot of fun doing it. I did both racing and show jumping for about a year or so and it just got to be too much, so I just switched to racing full-time from jumping. 

  1. All of that and you’re still attending in-school classes at your high school as well. How difficult has that been?

ME: It can be really hard to keep your grades up and get your work done on time. Fortunately, the teachers are usually very understanding if you’re getting good grades and do all your work and communicate with them. So, I’ve been very fortunate. 

  1. What led you to midget racing?

ME: I’ve always watched midgets growing up and going to the Chili Bowl and that’s when I first met Keith Kunz. Racing karts and micros made me want to eventually race midgets. 

  1. Having a year under your belt in a midget, how has this year been different so far?

ME: This year is definitely way more positive than last year. Being in a sprint car has helped with the additional speed. I definitely feel more comfortable. I know what our MNL Plumbing/DB3 Toyota is going to do and it’s just about being able to trust the car. That’s built my confidence. Last year, my confidence went up and down in going to so many tracks where I had never previously raced. This year it has been more positive and, hopefully, it keeps getting better. 

  1. What are your goals for this year and moving forward?

ME: My goal is to continue to learn and improve in midgets and also to succeed in sprint cars. Hopefully, that will eventually take me asphalt racing.

  1. Last question, what do you want people to know about Mariah Ede?

ME: Well, sometimes I worry people see my locked-in race face and might think that I’m mean. So just know that I love people and I love meeting all the fans. It’s just really exciting.