Lexie Murray Earns Wendi Allen Scholarship

Funds for travel to SCCA Solo events, along with waived entry fees, gets her autocrossing in 2018

Out of 70 nominations and three winners, one of the recipients of the Wendi Allen Scholarship Fund is Miata autocrosser Lexie Murray of SCCA’s Central Carolina Region. Named and established by the family of Wendi Allen, the scholarship honors the multi-time National Solo Champion who loved the SCCA Solo community. The fund gives back to the sport by helping young women become more successful drivers and contributing members of the SCCA. To that end, each winner receives $1,500 to support her travel to SCCA Tire Rack National Solo events and the Tire Rack Solo National Championship, along with waived entry fees and other support.

The award will get Murray, who had been looking at taking a step back this season, back on the road and competing.

“After campaigning the car last year – it was a rough season, with an engine replacement, and more repairs throughout the year,” explains Murray. “We were racing every weekend, and I was going to take this year off. My teammate, A.J. Snyder, was still wanting to run some ProSolos, so we went down to Fort Myers. I already had vacation to attend the events, but didn’t plan on racing until we were short a driver to make a class, so I registered, and that kicked off the racing bug again. The scholarship was the final piece that put it all together. When I heard the news, I added nine national events to my schedule this year.”

Murray got bit by the bug the first time after she moved from California to North Carolina for school, where she studied mechanical engineering with a concentration on motorsports. Her Mazda MPV connected her to a local Mazda group, and some of those members autocrossed. She swapped the MPV for Mazda2 and started autocrossing herself. Eventually that gave way to a Miata, which is now color-shift Plasti dipped. The car gets attention, and that may have led her to being nominated for the Wendi Allen Scholarship Fund.

“There was a test-and-tune down at Atlanta,” she says. “This little girl comes over to see the rainbow car and was super pumped to see a girl driving it. It’s fun to show the little ones that, yes, girls can play with cars, too. I asked to take a picture with her to post, and that post got way more attention than I ever expected it to. It’s ridiculous how far this went. One of the members saw the whole thing play out and was talking about it the next day, how it was cool that I took the time to talk to this girl about the car. He asked some of our mutual friends about me, and enough people said things like, ‘She’s super helpful and welcoming.’ I’m just doing me.”

“I love this sport, and SCCA is my family. It’s how they embraced me when I started and I wanted to pay that forward,” says Murray, who works as an engineer at Freightliner.

Murray is joined by Johanna Foege of St. Louis Region and Youmna Zalzal of San Francisco Region as recipients of the Wendi Allen Scholarship Fund. In the past, only two scholarships have been awarded, but for 2018, Mazda helped to provide a third.

“We are proud that Johanna, Youmna and Lexie are joining the ranks of many great autocrossers who earned the Wendi Allen Scholarship,” says David Cook, Business Development Manager for Mazda Motorsports. “We are delighted by the support of the scholarship from the community and SCCA who share our passion to help deserving drivers pursue their motorsport dreams.”

Additional support comes from the SCCA Foundation, which is accepting donations with contributions designated to support the Wendi Allen Scholarship fund at www.sccafoundation.org/donate. SCCA will also work to seek out other forms of support for the recipients, such as driver training, mentoring, products and logistical assistance.