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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Van Orden Honored at Year-End Awards Ceremony

  • Shanty Hill Racing driver earns Street Stock championship at Bethel Motor Speedway
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  • Way back in June Amber VanOrden was leading the pack in the Saturday Night Street Stock series at Bethel Motor Speedway.
    Then, at almost the mid-point of this April through October season, she had already collected 199 points. Amber went on to finish the season with 728 and six wins which resulted in her first championship.
    Hard Drivin'
    Along the way there were some memorable highlights as well as a few sketchy moments.
    She went on a five race winning streak and noted that taking her third straight checkered flag was especially meaningful as it was her first hat trick.
    Another good win came when she was riding in third for most of the race and couldn't get by the two lead cars.
    As they duked it out for the lead spot with five laps left, VanOrden saw an opportunity and passed both to drive on into victory lane.
    Winning, of course, doesn't come easy and it wouldn't be racing if there weren't a few fender-benders along the way.
    "There were quite a few incidents," she said.
    "Where other drivers tried to wreck me, but in one race I was in third and as I came down the front straightaway I got the two cars from behind and tore off a front fender, the bumper guard, and the passenger side door.
    "I bent up the hood too and couldn't see so my dad and brother ripped it off and I finished the race with half a front end.
    "I was so pumped with adrenaline I didn't even notice I was driving along without a door."
    Off-Track
    A well-rounded athlete, the 2012 Wallenpaupack Area grad stays busy during the summers.
    Page 2 of 2 - In addition to the weekly trips around the track in her 1984 Monte Carlo, she also hits the diamond on Mondays. There, for the past two years she's played for 590 Auto in the Wayne County Women's Softball League.
    Van Orden also hits the links on Thursdays at Cricket Hill as a sub in the women's golf league.
    Amber's dad, Gary Sr. has been a long-time staple in local racing and her brother, Gary Jr. races modifieds.
    Starting first with Go-Kart racing many years ago, Amber then moved up to the 4-Cylinder class.
    This past year was her third racing street stock and her first championship came as a result of cutting her teeth in lower classes.
    Given her already dazzling record, there could easily be more unless she moves up in class, which, she noted, she has contemplated.
    "I'm trying to catch up with dad," she stated, "not that I will, but I'll keep trying."
    Gary Sr. has four such trophies for his past efforts on the quarter-mile asphalt track.
    With one down and only three more to go, at 19 years old, there's plenty of time for her to catch up.
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