As one of 70 scholarship winners in the Wyoming Area Class of 2018, Sarah Baylor is a high-achieving teen.
She’s an athlete, having played for the field hockey and track and field teams since seventh grade.
She’s a high honors student and was selected to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association High School National Academic team.
Through Leadership Wilkes-Barre, Baylor, and a group of her peers, worked with Victory Sports, an organization that supports people with physical and intellectual disabilities.
In her third person biography as the Malsky Family Scholarship winner she wrote: “Sarah is full of spirit in her school, community, and in herself. She works as a receptionist and party planner where she can brighten days one smile at a time. She believes that their smiles made all the hard work worth it all. Sarah celebrates others’ success as much as meeting her own goals and aspirations. She enjoys helping in anyway possible, especially after her morning coffee.”
She sounds like a typical high-achieving teen and a funny one, too, with the line about the coffee. But there was another line in her bio that was anything but typical for a high school student: “Sarah competes in auto racing with her family and plans on continuing this for as long as she can.”
So what’s with the racing?
Baylor drives in SOLO, the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) brand name for Autocross competition.
SOLO Autocross races aren’t about high speed and direct competition. They are about driving skill over a course marked with traffic cones. They test the driver’s car handling ability and quickness in completing the course through time trials. Courses can be set up in large open parking lots and can take 40 seconds to more than a minute to complete.
In an email Sarah said: “We use venues such as LCCC, the Mohegan Sun Arena, a course with the Pocono (Raceway), and many others. There is no set course, it changes every time, which makes it even more fun.
“I race at multiple venues throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania region compete in a minimum of seven races per year. Although speeds do not reach those higher than those found on the road we drive on every day, the course is made to test car control and driving ability.”
She broke into racing in a go-karts when she was 14.
Today she drives a Mazda Miata and is one of few women in NEPA SCCA SOLO racing.
She was scheduled to race May 12 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Racing is a family hobby. Her brother Andrew, 20, raced Autocross. Now he’s a hill climber. He’s the two-time defending champion in his class at the Giants Despair Hillclimb.
Baylor’s parents, Charlie and Amy Baylor, crew all the events.
Sarah doesn’t rule out trying other types of racing, but for now she said, “I enjoy what I race, where I race, and who I race with, so I will continue to do what I’m doing.”