WIN Series Special - Mother-to-be Alli Owens

Skirts and Scuffs Celebrates

2nd Annual Mother's Day


As Mother’s Day approaches, it is time once again for our celebration of those fantastic NASCAR moms! I hope you enjoy the moms featured and the stories they have to tell. I want to thank all involved for joining me to celebrate our NASCAR moms! There will be a few more surprises throughout the day, so stick with us for this special occasion!
Happy Mother’s Day, Alli

If you’ve gotten the opportunity to read the WIN Series interview with Alli Owens, you’ve had the chance to get a little view of how important family is to her. Social media has been good to Alli. She has a large fan base, and a combined total of more than 5,000 followers on both Facebook and Twitter. Her fans and supporters see her as a driver with a lot of talent and passion for the sport. Many feel she will go far in motorsports.

Back on Nov. 28, 2010, 22-year-old NASCAR hopeful Alexandra “Alli” Owens received a life-changing phone call from the representative of her major sponsor. The voice on the other end stated that due to the economy, there was no funding available to support her and her 2011 racing efforts. Alli isn’t the type to just give up, so she launched a campaign through social media that looked to her followers and fans for financial support.

The plan was to make her debut as previously planned, on Feb. 18. This was the date of the NextEra Energy Resources 250 Camping World Truck Series race in Daytona. With everything in place except the cash, she was ready to make her NASCAR debut. Owens received support from Mullinax Ford, a dealership from New Smyrna, Fla.; local Daytona Beach area chapters of the IBEW and NECA to promote, a site dedicated to the National Labor-Management Cooperation Committee of the Electrical Construction Industry; and also her fans, from Twitter, Facebook and all those who helped her raise enough funds to complete the sponsorship needed. Alli stated, “The doctor said we looked like January 24th was the time of the start of the pregnancy. My little bundle of joy got to go draft with me at Daytona!” This is Alli’s announcement that she posted on Twitter and Facebook that Paul and her were going to be parents:
“I have personal BIG news to share with all of you and I'm debating on how to tell you all.. The reason I am working hard for 2012 instead of 2011 is because me fiancé and I have decided to start a family due to lack of funded races this year. I'm going to be a MOMMY! I'm 12 weeks pregnant now! Full steam ahead for racing in 2012 don't worry!”

LB (Lindi Bess) -Tell us about Paul, your soon-to-be husband, and how he proposed.
Alli and Paul
AO (Alli Owens) - I am marrying Paul Chodora. He works at Turn One Racing on Cole Whitt's truck. He is a fabricator in the shop and a front tire carrier at the races. We met when he worked on my car in ARCA. It was a love-hate relationship at first. We both liked each other but didn't want to mix relationship and racing. Obviously, as time would tell, that didn't last long. Paul is different than most guys in the garage. He is very old-fashioned and traditional. He was a 'nice guy' which usually isn't my type, but for some reason I couldn't shake the feeling and we moved in together April 2010. He proposed July 20th of last year and it was simple and sweet just like his personality. We were sitting in the living room of our home and he got on one knee and said, "I can't wait any longer. Will you marry me?" I just laughed and said "YES! But did that go how you planned?" He later told me he wanted it to be more special, but he was nervous and it sort of just came out with out the big speech he planned in his head. So in our fashion, we had ice pops instead of wine or anything classy. Haha! After a wonderful engagement, Paul and I will be wed on May 28th, this month!

LB-Was this a planned pregnancy or somewhat of a surprise? Where does racing fit in?
AO-Paul and I knew children would be apart of our marriage and life together. He is 30 years old, so his clock was ticking a little faster than mine at the time. When didn't renew their sponsorship with me, I knew the 2011 racing schedule would be very slim. I was tired of trying to get sponsors for each up-and-coming race and barely having a budget and running in equipment that I knew couldn't win, so we starting talking about the future more. I decided I would put all my focus on 2012 and give myself a window of months that I could get pregnant that wouldn't interfere with any 2012 plans. As luck would have, we got pregnant.
first ultrasound
"Here is our first ultrasound picture at 9 weeks! We've decided to
share this journey with all of you because you guys rock!"
LB-So when did find out you were ‘with child’?
AO-It was right after the Daytona truck race when I missed my gift from mother nature. It was so funny, Paul and I were so anxious to find out, we stopped at the local grocery store and got a test. I went straight in the bathroom at the store and sure enough we knew we were expecting by the time we left Harris Teeter! I scheduled an early doctor's appointment due to my recent track activity at Daytona. The doctor said we looked like January 24th was the time of the start of the pregnancy. My little bundle of joy got to go draft with me at Daytona! It was also then we found out our due date is October 31st! Halloween! More recently with each doctor visit they say she'll probably be here before then. I'm hoping for the 23rd, that's my daddy's birthday!
Paul looking through the baby section. He found some shoes and felt like dancing!
LB-Have you found out if we’re getting pink booties or blue?
AO-I went in for a birth defect test and they used all of their ultra sound machines to get the diagrams of her that they needed. Before we found out that she was a girl, we had to wake her up! She was already being stubborn at 13 weeks and would move no matter what we did. My mom laughed and said, "She gets that from you!" The doctor made me drink orange juice and make (left-handed circle) laps around the office to wake her little self up. Once I got back on the table we could see her on the monitor, bouncing around like rice on a hot surface! She ended up landing with her hands behind her head and legs spread eagle, so sure enough the doctor shouted "Oh! It's a girl!" So our little mystery baby got her name, Braelynn Everlee Chodora!
Introducing Braelynn Everlee Chordora
braelynn posing
"Our silly baby girl decided to put her hands behind her head and lounge out
while we looked at her on the monitor. She's already a camera ham! Haha!"
LB-What are your hopes and dreams for Braelynn?
AO-It's really hard to think in a few months I will be a mother to a baby girl. I mean it feels like I just left my parents home and began a life for myself. I never thought about children like most young women do. I mean I love kids and always thought I would have my own, but my head was always occupied with motors, lap times, race tracks, race cars, and sponsorship. Now (I'm) realizing the next time I get in a car, I will be a mother. I will now have to look out for someone other than myself. As she grows up and starts to become her own little person, I just want to make sure her dad and I always let her know how much she is loved. I remember when I was little, just knowing my parents loved me made me want to reach for the stars and do the best I could at what ever I was into at the time. I hope she learns from my life and all the things I had to go through to get where I am at and that having goals in life make it worth living. I know family is important to Paul and I, so I hope she learns to trust in her family and lean on us through hard times and that we will always be here for her no matter what. As far as racing goes, I would love if she was into that and wanted to be involved. My dad and I are already talking about getting all our quarter midget stuff out again, but if racing isn't something she's into, that will be fine too. I will support her what ever she wants to do, unless it's ballet or cheerleading, I'm going to have learn more about that stuff!

LB- With Braelynn on her way, what are you most nervous about?
AO-I think I'm scared that I won't have my mom there with me all the time. I mean, Paul's parents live close to us and they are awesome and a huge help with things, but it's not the same as having my mom there to talk to and lean on for emotional support. I wish race teams were in Daytona instead of the Charlotte area. I don't have many friends up there, actually only one girlfriend and I think she is moving back to Florida, so I'm nervous about it just being Braelynn and I all the time while Paul is working. Life always seems to be better when I'm racing and traveling to all the different tracks because the racing community becomes your mobile family. So I hope it will work out easy for Braelynn to adjust to the traveling and being around the other drivers' kids. I hate that her young life will be spent on the road instead of a home and a neighborhood. I don't ever want her to think we kept her away from childhood of growing up with the "kids next door," but mommy and and daddy's life is racing and that's what we do and now will do as a family. One good thing about the racing and traveling is that my parents never miss a race, so Braelynn will get to spend time with them on the weekends and then see Paul's parents during the week. It's so much to think about it! I just hope she loves racing because then it will be the best childhood ever! Haha!
3D image of baby Braelynn ... so crazy!!
LB-What are you excited about? 
AO-I think I'm most excited about seeing a little girl, that is part of me, become her own person. I'm looking forward to see what traits and habits she gets from me and what she gets from her dad. I'm also looking forward to hearing her giggles and listening to her sing along with me in the car. Dressing her up on race days and give her the high five, hug, and kiss before getting the car. I can't wait for the first time she wears a radio on her little head to listen to mommy talk her crew, and hearing the "good luck mommy" come over the radio on the 'one to go' lap before the green flag drops. I'm also excited to experience the unconditional love we will share with each other.

Sherry you’re gonna be a grandma ...
171072_10150129177666354_61041621353_7929353_114372_o(3) Alli’s mom Sherry Owens shares her thoughts on motherhood

LB-Tell us about your pregnancy with Alli …
SO-When I first found out I was pregnant with Alli I was really scared because I was only 19 and not married. I was working and going to college for radiologic technology full time and I wasn't sure how I was supposed to move forward. I wasn't sure what was going to be worse, telling Mike, Alli's dad, or telling my mom. I decided to tell Mike first and if he was happy nothing else mattered, because we would be alright. Mike was working in Florida at the time and when i called to tell him, he was so excited he left work. He drove straight through to me in Illinois without stopping. So next was my mom ...

Let's just say that didn't go well. My sister, also 19, found out she was pregnant too so we decided to tell her together. Bad idea! My mom did not respond well, which is understandable at that time. Neither of us knowing how things would be, but Mike and I were determined to make a life for ourselves and our new little baby. We moved in together in a single wide trailer on the corner of a cornfield in Centralia, Illinois. If you think about it, it makes a good country song, especially when the baby grows up to be a race car driver!

LB- How did your pregnancy with Alli go?
SO-As far as my pregnancy with Alli, I was sick start to finish. I was put on bed rest and lost my job and had to quit college. I was confused and excited at the same time. When we found out we were having a girl, we started to gather things we would need. The first thing we got was a frilly white canopy crib. I traded a family for babysitting service to get the crib. It was the most the beautiful thing we owned in that old single wide. Our little princess had her girly frills and trimming that lasted until the Sweet Pea four-wheeler and Barbie car came into the picture before she was 3! From that point, she was our little tomboy that loved mud puddles and rocks instead of all the Barbies and baby dolls.
Alli as a infant
A young Alli
LB- How do you feel about Alli and Paul's upcoming addition?
SO-Alli has always loved kids so I think she will be a great mom. I can't wait for her to discover one of the greatest loves she'll ever know. One thing that I worry about is her being sick like I was ... she has started off a little sick, but has found eating small amounts frequently and resting is good. I worry about them financially because it is not cheap to bring a child into this world and no cheaper after it gets here. Even after they are grown! I am starting to feel the saying "you never stop worrying" even after they leave home. I know everything will work out eventually because Alli is one of the strongest people I know. She is very determined for her little family to prosper. Now giving birth is going to be the bomb! and I don't mean good. When it comes to hospitals, needles, etc. Alli is the biggest chicken I know. When it's time for the epidermal, the person with the needle better come prepared! I hope I'm wrong. I'm sure since I live in Florida and Alli and Paul live in North Carolina that I will be worried not being there to watch over everything.

LB- How do you feel about your granddaughter, Braelynn possibly racing?
SO-Here we go again! Seriously, I hope she does. I'm sure grandpa Owens and Uncle Wally will have a quarter midget on standby for her with a decal that reads "my mommy drives faster than your mommy" with a number 22 on it for old times like in late models. With all we have learned through the years with Alli, hopefully we can skip some of the learning curves. Although I think everything Alli has endured has made her the person she is today and she can give Braelynn advice.

LB- Do you feel Alli can handle the challenges that are fast approaching?

Sherry said,
“Women in motorsports are constantly under a microscope. People always judging them. From their looks to ... how you get that ride?"
She continued: "Being a mom and a racer driver is one thing the "girls" got on the "guys." Alli is a very strong, self-motivated person and has had to work for every opportunity she's been given in racing. What drives my girl more than anything is someone telling her she can't do something. She will do everything in her power just to prove them wrong. She has racing plans for 2012 and can't wait for Braelynn to get here to share in the memories of her Mommy being a successful NASCAR driver."

Skirts and Scuffs wishes both Alli and Sherry a Happy Mother’s Day!
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WIN Series Special - Mother-to-be Alli Owens WIN Series Special - Mother-to-be Alli Owens Reviewed by Lindi Bess on Sunday, May 08, 2011 Rating: 5