Saturday, May 05, 2007
Leilani Munter - From Nascar to Indy
Leilani Munter and I met up at the Corkscrew last summer after we connected on LinkedIn. (I had been searching on LinkedIn for NASCAR contacts in my geographic area). Leilani intrigued me after I read and saw her professional blog as she her background, interests, political leanings matched up with mine.
She was an up and coming driver in Nascar, but still under the radar screen compared to Danika Patrick. Leilani has a diverse background being a biology major in college, then she was a model and stunt double (she was the stunt double for Catherine Zeta-Jones) in the movie Traffic. In addition, she was starting to get noticed by fashion magazines and even secured her position with Hostess (the twinkie) company to be on a poster called the "Hostess Diva". I also found out when we met that her brother in law is Bob Weir from the Greatful Dead who now plays in a band called RatDog.
Over the next few months Leilani raced but was looking for a sponsor to help her race full time. There is a catch 22. In order to be on tv more, you need sponsor money to race more frequently and at higher levels.
We both decided that our paths and interests (NASCAR, blogging, media, internet tv,and branding) coincided and that we should keep in touch to see how we can help each other. I wanted to help find a sponsor or other media outlets for her with some of my old connections in cable tv.
Well, last week I called Leilani to see if she wanted to meet and she told me she now was an "Indy" driver and had just signed on with a major race team. I also found out she was in the April 15th edition of Sports Illustrated as one of the top 10 female drivers in the world.
Congratulations, Leilani!!! Your hard work and determination are paying off!!! I know how much you love to race!