By Romi Bean

(CBS4)– Cassidy Hinds found her passion for racing cars around the age when most kids are just trying out tricycles. Now she’s changing the racing game for future female racers.

“I first got into racing when my parents took me to the race track when I was three, and it escalated from there.”

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As Cassidy’s passion for racing escalated, success quickly followed. At 17 years old, the high school senior often finds herself racing – and beating – competitors with decades more experience.

“It’s honestly pretty cool because when I win, I’m like, ‘You just got beat by a 17-year old,’ and they’re like, ‘Yeah, I know,’” Cassidy jokes.

In 2020, Hinds became the first female and the youngest driver ever to win a Pro-Truck race at Colorado National Speedway.

“It’s an honor. I’m the first female and the youngest – that’s pretty awesome. Plus, I did it my rookie year, so that’s really cool,” Cassidy said. “It’s cool to be one of the few girls in the sport. It gives women more power.”

(credit: Cassidy Hinds)

After a successful rookie campaign, Hinds is embracing the high expectations.

“I don’t necessarily feel pressure. I know people are going to be expecting it, but I guess we’ll just see what I can do.”

Race day is an intense experience that requires unshakeable focus, and when she’s behind the wheel, Cassidy is dialed in.

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“She’s very focused and determined on race days,” Mike Hinds, Cassidy’s father said.

“When you’re in the race car, you’re focusing on 20 things at once,” Cassidy explains. “You’re making sure you’re turning the wheel enough, breaking enough in the corner, getting enough throttle when you need to get into throttle. Plus, you’re looking ahead to see what cars ahead of you are doing to make sure they’re not going to wreck and so you can avoid it before your spotter tells you. It’s a lot to think about and it’s mentally challenging.”

Along with all those aspects, Hinds is also dealing with intense heat.

“It gets really hot in the car. I get out and I’m just soaked with sweat. I’ll lose up to 5 pounds in one race and it’s all fluids,” Hinds said.

Cassidy races for more than just the adrenaline and the accolades. She is partnered with the Friends of Jacqueline Foundation, which works to improve the quality of life of children battling cancer.

(credit: CBS)

“Kids with pediatric cancers can get ‘adopted’ from sports teams or racing teams. I have two adoptees. On race days, they come down to the pits and when I’m done racing, they come back and hang out in the trailer,” Hinds said.

At seventeen, Hinds is a trailblazer for females and young racers alike. She hopes to continue inspiring others as she works her way to the ultimate goal.

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“I hope to continue being a role model as I work to get to higher levels. My goal is NASCAR and I’m working my way up there.”

Romi Bean