Natalie Fenaroli: The next Danica Patrick? Nope, she says she’d rather be the next Lewis Hamilton. Hey, NASCAR: you’d better start selling her on your part of this deal. (Photo: Fenaroli)
NASCAR AND DIVERSITY: THIRD IN A FIVE-PART SERIES ON NASCAR’S PUSH TO CHANGE THE FACE OF STOCK CAR RACING
(Parts Four and Five are below)
By Mike Mulhern
But that doesn’t begin to describe Natalie Fenaroli.
Ambitious too, yes.
Remarkably well-spoken. Easily TV material, plug-and-play: “My dad has always been a good speaker, so I guess I inherited my gift of language from him.”
The kicker: She is only 12 years old. A rising seventh-grader.
But Natalie Fenaroli already has a goal in life: She wants to kick Lewis Hamilton’s butt.
What, this feisty soon-to-be-teenager a Mario Andretti-wannabee?
So just how far is it from the Fenarolis’ Kansas City home to Monza and Monaco and Formula One’s glamour stops?
Well, Mario Andretti made it. At Daytona and Indianapolis too, en route to becoming World Champion.
So why not her?
And Natalie Fenaroli, chatterbox racer but very smooth, polished and savvy about all this, is straight-ahead, like, think Carl Edwards: “I race go-carts, I am a road racer, and here’s my card.”
Sprint Karts right now, at $6,000 to $8,000, cheap really. Plus $2,000 or $3,000 a year, “depending on what she breaks,” her mother says with a laugh.
The next step up the racing ladder, though, will tax that American Express card.
So why this? “My dad wanted me to have driving skills, because of the whole teen-driving thing,” Natalie says. “He wanted the driving stuff hard-wired in my brain.
“So he put in me in karts. And now he can’t get me out of them.”
Natalie Fenaroli: She’s ready for the Ryan Newman-Tony Stewart animal rescue program. Or is this a teasing pose for that classic Stewart line ‘Here, kitty, kitty…..’ (Photo: Fenaroli)
Among the 41 women racers here at Lyn St. James’ annual summer Brickyard networking luncheon/seminar just behind the legendary yard-of-bricks finish line at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Natalie Fenaroli certainly stands out.
Will she make it? Will any of these women make it in racing, either as drivers or businesswomen?
Well, why not.
And this year, with Danica Patrick, Ashley Force, Melanie Troxel and Hillary Will making headlines, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to check it out. Which is one reason NASCAR president Mike Helton and several other Daytona execs are here, not just to accept awards for NASCAR racing pioneers Sara Christian and Louise Smith but to check out the marketing potential in this part of the racing world.
Louise Smith was one of the first women racers in NASCAR, in the 1950s…and she was a classic good ol’ girl. (Photo: International Motorsports Hall of Fame Archives)
Natalie Fenaroli—aspiring to be an Indy-car driver, and next year looking for some big league schooling in either a Skip Barber series or a Jim Russell series, and then a ladder series “to slowly work my way up”—has had over 2,000 heat starts, racing “all over the United States,” with a season that starts in March and ends in October, including 12 to 15 race weekends.
At the moment NASCAR’s Helton may have to do a selling job, though. “NASCAR just doesn’t appeal to me,” Fenaroli says. “Open-wheel cars appeal more to me. And road course racing is what I really like.”
Maybe that’s because women are getting it done in Indy-cars, and not in NASCAR.
But then that’s part of the challenge Helton and NASCAR face.
Natalie’s role models? “Danica is a good driver, don’t get me wrong. She is an idol. But there are women who are more idols than she is. Like Sara Fisher.
“And Lyn St. James.
Mike Helton (L), NASCAR president, with the 4th annual Mildred Marcum Pioneer Award in honor of Sara Christian and Louise Smith, two former NASCAR women drivers from the early days of NASCAR, during Lyn St. James’ (R) Women In the Winner’s Circle Foundation seminar at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. NASCAR execs were here in force…but NASCAR car owners embarrassed themselves by no-showing. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/Getty Images for NASCAR)
“As far as males, Lewis Hamilton is a very, very good driver and an inspiration.
“When they ran Formula One here my dad and I went to every one of them. And we want to get to Italy to see a Formula One race in the next two years. Our heritage is Italian – Fenaroli.
“Formula One racing is the ultimate goal. It is the top of the mountain. It is fast, and the most challenging you can get as a driver.
“Just think of it – a woman in Formula One would be an amazing thing. It would open doors for all women.
“And women can do it.
“Women are good drivers. We are not born with the upper body-strength…but if a woman has enough commitment like me….
“I just joined a fitness club so I can drive a car, and I work out five days a week.
“Racing may be physically demanding, but women also have the mental focus. And they’re not as hot-headed as most men. Women are much more calm and more diligent than most men.”
Natalie Fenaroli: NASCAR has to do a selling job, or else she’s going Indy-cars and Formula One (Photo: Fenaroli)
Driving Karts at four, racing Karts at five, and now visions of Formula One.
“Formula One, yes, that’s her ultimate goal…though we understand there are a lot of steps between here and there,” her mother Ann Fenaroli says.
Natalie describes her mom as “my mechanic, my crew chief, and my pit crew.”
But why would Ann Fenaroli, a seemingly sensible person, want her daughter playing around like this?
Well, for the moment the family is simply going with the flow.
“My husband raced go-karts when he was young, and one day he decided it’s never too young to hard-wire a person into good driving habits….” Ann Fenaroli says.
“It all started with that idea. And Natalie just loved it.
“So we’ve made it a family event. She won the group two Kid-Kart Nationals at seven, and we said ‘Wow,’ and she said ‘I want to keep going.’
“And we’ve just kept going. And since joining Lyn St. James’ program we’ve realized ‘Hey, we can do this.’
“So we’re here networking and meeting people and getting her name out there…so she can get one of those ‘sponsorships.’
“Yes, it is a rough sport, but…..”
It’s also expensive, and for the Fenarolis it’s about to get much more expensive. “The next step—we’ve been talking about taking her to one of the schools, Jim Russell or Skip Barber,” Ann Fenaroli says. “We’re looking at big cars. You do two weekends of learning, and then get a license to run in their own series.
“But she needs to be five-foot, so she’s got to grow two inches before she can get in the car. And she’s hoping for this fall….
“That would give us a good idea ‘Does she really want to do this?’”
So the Fenarolis plan to follow Natalie’s dream. The Jim Russell school is at Bruton Smith’s Infineon course in Sonoma, Calif.; Skip Barber, in Laguna Seca, Calif., Sebring, Fla., Road Atlanta, Road America in Wisconsin, and Lime Rock, Conn. “So either way, we’re probably going to a coast,” Ann Fenaroli says.
Of course, when Natalie turns 14 or so, things could all change, her mother realizes.
But then isn’t this sort of the path that Danica Patrick took, at age 10, back in 1992?
Will Erin Crocker get back on track? Erin (L) and Allison Duncan were up-and-coming NASCAR racers on this PR tour of Los Angeles…but where are they now? (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)
However on the other side of the picture…..if any woman can do this, if any woman could make it to the NASCAR Cup tour AND be successful, it should be Erin Crocker. She should be winning big, she should be on the cover of SI. Heck, Ray Evernham figures she probably ought to be in the swimsuit issue too….
Erin Crocker is smart – Rensselaer, Class of ‘03, with a degree in industrial and management engineering.
She’s tough – soccer, tennis and college lacrosse.
She’s fast – anyone who can make it to the Knoxville Nationals in 410 Dirt Sprints certain has it.
And since that dramatic makeover, she’s a stunning looker.
Crocker is the most well-known female racer in NASCAR.
But her once-promising career – so fast-track after her stunning World of Outlaws’ victory in 2004, that earned her a NASCAR ride with Dodge team owner Ray Evernham (a fast move that plucked her out of Ford’s own development program) – has stalled, in part because of a complicated personal relationship with Evernham. She did ARCA, Busch and Trucks in 2005. She did Trucks full-time for Evernham in 2006. But Evernham had to close that team at the end of the season, as the financial pressures of running a major league NASCAR Cup operation began to take its toll.
(Last year Evernham sold majority share of his company to sports businessman George Gillett Jr.)
Crocker opened 2007 on a high, winning the pole for Daytona’s ARCA 200….but the rest of the season was a wash, and 2008 hasn’t been much better.
While it may be tough to say that at 27 she’s over-the-hill, Crocker realizes she needs to get a jump-restart to her career.
“I don’t really know where I am,” Crocker says slowly. “But I’m not exactly where I’d like to be.
“Still, I got to run in NASCAR’s Nationwide series and Truck series, and anyone would love to be able to say that. But I don’t just want to run, I want to race competitively.
“I need the funding, and I need the right situation. I’ve had a few offers, but they weren’t what I thought would be competitive. And at this point in my career, that would only hurt me.
“It’s a struggle. The economy isn’t well, and racing is getting more competitive and more expensive.
“So while I’m not where I’d like to be, I’ve made myself realize that there is more to life and I can’t let it ruin every day of mine.
“I’m still working very hard on it…but I’m just taking every day as it comes.”
Of course there is much more to the sport of NASCAR than just driving, and Crocker says she’s been trying to expand: She’s moving to TV, she’s working on a marketing project, she’s been helping St. James, she’s just started her own small, minor league racing series.
“Just keeping busy, keeping involved, keeping my name out there,” she says.
And Crocker says she feels she’s been through a lifetime of racing already.
Any advice for this roomful of starry-eyed women looking at racing as career? “Try as hard as you can, and network,” Crocker says. “Making your dreams come true is in how you pursue it. You have to really want it.
“People might drop stuff in your lap, and things might fall into place for a while. But it won’t be that way forever. So you have to get out there and stand on your own two feet.
“Like I am.”
Can a woman really make it as a driver in NASCAR? Or is this all just some gimmick?
“For sure there will be a woman who runs successfully in NACAR,” Crocker insists. “I don’t know if it will be me…or if it will be in my lifetime. But it will happen. Danica proved it in Indy cars.
“But the pool of people we’re picking from is much smaller than the group of men trying to make it in NASCAR.”
For the moment Crocker just wants to get her own career back on track: “I’ve been trying to get back in Trucks this year, talking to a lot of potential sponsors, but more likely it would be 2009,” Crocker says.
And the price point for a successful Truck team? “You’re talking $3 million to $5 million a season,” she says.
“I’ve had people show interest in sponsorship, and they ask ‘How much?’ And when I say ‘That’s at least $500,000,’ they stagger backwards.
“I thought my run at Daytona this year might have jump-started something. I was running seventh coming to the white flag. But ended up 14th after I got hit coming off two…..
“But that was a good performance. However nothing came of it.
“I keep talking with (Truck team owner) David Dollar a lot; he’s now partners with Randy Moss (in a well-backed Chevrolet operation). And maybe something can come of that.”
Chrissy Wallace: Is she as tough as Mike Wallace, her father, and Uncle Rusty Wallace? (Photo: Toyota Motorsports)
So is there sexism in NASCAR?
Or just skepticism?
Mike Wallace’s daughter Chrissy, 19, has the best mentor for her career – Tony Stewart. And she did well in her NASCAR Truck debut this season at Martinsville. That’s partly a Toyota venture, and Toyota has joined Ford in pushing to get women into racing.
Chrissy Wallace, tough and spunky, may get it done. At least she’s on the right track. And Mike Wallace is a savvy marketer: Just a few weeks ago the Wallaces were at the New York Stock Exchange ringing the ceremonial closing bell.
Alli Owens: All business (Photo: Alli Owens)
And some women here aren’t just looking for sponsors and rides, they’re working to make something happen on their own, as businesswomen.
Like Alli Owens.
Alli Owens, first running out of Daytona, but now having moved to North Carolina, may be the most impressive sports-business woman in a driving suit in this room. She’s only 19, but she’s all business about this sport.
“Kentucky was big for us,” Owens says of that ARCA 150 three weeks ago. “We tested, we were fourth in qualifying, and we wound up 15th….and we were lucky to come out without a scratch, considering all the crashes.” Not bad at a big track where NASCAR runs 180 mph and Indy-cars go 218.
Owens, a first-generation racer, put together a marketing package together when she was 17, moved out of her Daytona home and headed to North Carolina, to turn a BMX/Volusia Speedway start into a full-fledged racing career hopefully.
Last year it was Hickory Speedway and Tri-County. This year it’s ARCA, 12 events: big tracks, Kentucky, Kansas City, Chicago, Daytona, Rockingham, Michigan, Pocono, Nashville and Talladega among them.
“Just been a tom-boy,” she says. “This came from hanging around the guys. I just love the feel of competition.
“I always wanted to be a veterinarian, but once I started doing this at 12, I knew this was exactly what I wanted to do. I started running around town on my bicycle looking for sponsors. Graduated from high school early so I could move to North Carolina by myself – that has been the biggest challenge for me, but it’s definitely been worthwhile, because now we’re running ARCA.”
Alli Owens: and the de rigeur glam shot (Photo: Alli Owens)
Daytona last December, at an ARCA test, was her big step up. After running nothing bigger than a three-quarter-mile track, she managed to get the okay to run Daytona in February.
“That was a huge jump,” Owens concedes. “But the ARCA people felt comfortable with me. They kept their eyes on me. But I was 12th fastest in the ARCA testing. And I made the race on time. It was a big accomplishment to show we could run with people and draft, and make the race on time. I never really got to draft until the race – the green flag. But the first lap I was three-wide. You always dream of that.”
Pretty ambitious? “We’ve had ourselves in every possible situation this year – day-racing, night-racing, short-track, speedways, superspeedways, concrete, asphalt. I lost power steering at Pocono – and we shift at Pocono – and that was the best race I’ve ever run. I was in the top-10 until a car ahead of me crashed with four to go.
“My outlook on racing may be different from others – it’s business first. Because without that you don’t get in a car. So my 18th birthday present for myself was to open Owens Racing and incorporate. I contract myself out to the teams. So I know how to budget, how to market, how to schedule appearances – I’m a blue-collar worker just like the fans. I want to make sure my sponsors are happy and in the loop. I’m learning a lot
“My goal in racing is to be a competitive business person as well as driver, to have my own team and bring others up….because I know what roads to take and what roads not to take.”
Next step? Trucks and Nationwide. “I don’t want to go too fast, but you’ve got to move up.
“The ARCA series is great; we’ve got 50 cars each week showing up for 43-car fields. And anybody can win. The seat time and competition is great.
“But the competition in Truck is a lot more aggressive. And in Nationwide, you’re right there at the door, with the media and the racing and exposure.”
This conference is hosting women from all over the country: California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Kansas, Massachusetts, Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Texas, Missouri, Florida, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington, even Ontario Canada and Australia.
If NASCAR team owners can’t find at least one promising female racer here, they’re not looking hard. But then – and this is a flat out embarrassment – NASCAR’s Cup team owners all skipped this event, for whatever reasons.
NASCAR executives, though, were here talking and listening and looking. And they say they’re been particularly impressed with Kristin Bumbera, a 20-year-old from Houston, who has been racing since she was eight, most seriously since she was 15.
Bumbera is serious, no fluff here. She’s running this summer out of Roseville, Calif., near Sacramento, and she’s won two Late Model races.
Now running the West Coast frequently means ‘out-of-sight, out-of-mind.’
“It’s definitely a downfall,” Bumbera admits. “So you have to make a name for yourself and become known every way possible. This ‘women-in-the-winner’s circle’ and the NASCAR drive-for-diversity have helped open doors, more than just racing.
“Sprint Cup is obviously my ultimate goal. Next year hopefully I can get in the Grand National division on the West Coast.”
In 2006 she became the first woman to win a Late Model race at Houston Motorsports Park. In 2007 she logged 11 top-10s and five top-fives in the ASA Pro Late Model series, which earned her a NASCAR ‘scholarship’ in the drive-for-diversity program. She’s also a student at Houston Baptist University, working on a double major in marketing and communications.
Advice? “Do good, stay clean, and keep everybody updated on what you’re doing.”
But in racing, regardless of talent and opportunity, what goes up eventually comes back down. Just ask Sondi Eden.
Her 100-watt smile matches her outgoing personality, and she had a great shot at making something happen in this sport when she got a ride with Jack Roush.
But the Roush deal fizzled.
Now she’s looking again. She had a bank sponsor this season, but that company bailed out.
So where are the jumper cables?
She’s just back from Iraq, helping the Iraqi Olympic Federation’s women’s basketball program, hopefully to rise to the Olympic level: “It was history made, the first women’s basketball camp there,” Eden, a basketball coach on the side.
However her dream is still out on the asphalt. “I still have the desire to drive,” she says. “But my mom keeps saying ‘Aren’t you going to look at other things in racing?’”
“The last couple of years have been tough, and when you talk to other drivers, they’re struggling too,” Eden said. “But there are still benefits to companies – sponsoring a woman driver. And I still feel there is a good fit for me and a sponsor, and that keeps me moving forward.”
It’s not a glass ceiling in NASCAR…or is it?
Sometimes it looks like a brick wall.
Sexism in NASCAR? NASCAR team owners seemed interested in this a few years ago, but no longer. And are NASCAR executives really enthusiastic about this deal, or just paying lip-service? Why didn’t they tell top car owners like Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Jack Roush and Joe Gibbs to show up here and take a gander?
Or is it the real question Produce?
Certainly the marketing opportunities are attractive, if a team owner and sponsor would spend the time to put it all together.
“I just think if someone like Richard Childress or Jack Roush were behind someone like me, it would benefit them and the team,” Eden says. “I’ve won races, I’ve won championships, I know how to do that. And I have something unique to offer – I’m a race car driver who happens to be a female. So let’s use that.
“I was number one in the Driver X votes, the fan-base (during Roush’s annual Gong Show tryouts), which is going to increase your business.
“You need somebody who can break the mold.”
But money is tight. “Yes, it is expensive…but look at the potential return down the road,” Eden says. “If you can win in ARCA and then win in Trucks, that will blossom and be huge.”
Maybe doing the team yourself is the way to go? Maybe the goal should be to become the next Rick Hendrick rather than the next Jimmie Johnson. Drivers are a dime a dozen; car owners are few and far between.
A NASCAR Truck team budget? “You’d have to look at $3 million to $5 million….and you’d have to get the shop, and the haulers, and the engines, and the crew,” Eden says. “And it’s cutthroat. It gets tough.”
Tiffany Daniels: Getting tips from former NASCAR All-American champion Peyton Sellers (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
So just how tough are some of the women? Well, Tiffany Daniels, 23, out of Smithfield, Va., and now living in Charlotte, may not look like she could swing an axle or sway bar, but she says she knows how to fight her way out of the track if need be.
Later this month she’s heading West to try her hand at off-road, a Vegas-to-Reno run Aug. 21-23, billed as the longest off-road race in the U.S. She’ll be in a Ford F-250.
“I’ve never done any off-road before, I don’t know anything about off-road racing, but they asked me if I would like to drive, and of course I said yes,” she says. “I couldn’t believe this opportunity had just popped up out of the blue.”
Her season so far has been Late Models in the Southeast, South Boston, Southern National, and Bristol, after a start in Legends. Next year she’s like to run the NASCAR East series and then move up to ARCA by the end of the season…then full-time ARCA…then full-time Nationwide, for a couple of years.
But it’s her day job that makes her standout: she’s an engineer for Chip Ganassi’s Cup program, fresh out of UNC-Charlotte, now working with Juan Pablo Montoya’s team.
“Racing is my career, and engineering is my job,” she says.
A Ryan Newman type.
Next season Daniels wants to step up a notch. “But any time table depends on sponsorship opportunities,” she says. “I’m definitely not starry-eyed.
“But I’ve met a lot of good people wanting to help me.
“Networking is very important in this business. A lot of it is who you know.”
At 23, well, isn’t Kyle Busch 23?
What is the career time line for women in racing?
“The time-line for women is different than for men, because women get started later,” Daniels says. “You’ve got to run well faster, and there aren’t as many opportunities for mistakes. But as long as you’re ready to go to the next step….”
What does the sponsorship market look like for a woman with Daniels’ game plan? “I’ve got a couple of teams lined up, that if I can get the proper funding….
“People do like to know you’ve got a game plan. It helps to know where you want to go and how long you expect to get there.
“A lot of companies right now are reluctant to sponsor someone they haven’t heard of. That’s been a challenge. But showing them you’ve got a plan helps.”
With a minor in public relations, Daniels has other options in racing too.
But maybe women are just a fad, a fad in NASCAR that’s come and gone?
“It comes and goes,” Daniels says. “But there are fads of all sorts. There are drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya and Dario Franchitti, from other series. Or the trend may be to look at Late Model drivers, like Denny Hamlin.
“And the success of Danica has certainly helped to put females on everyone’s radar.”
Still this particular room may be filled with 41 promising, talented, well-spoken female drivers…but if Erin Crocker can’t make it in this business, why should these other women be optimistic?
“It’s a lot harder to make it the second time than the first time,” Daniels says. “But it is possible to build yourself back up, and Erin’s doing that.
“But sponsors want results fast. And NASCAR is so high-profile…”
There is the distinct sense in NASCAR’s Cup garage that women are just being ignored right now, because the return-on-investment is going to be a long time coming, if it comes at all. That puts women, and other newcomers too, at a disadvantage.
“A lot of it is time….and how much time they are willing to put into it,” Daniels says. “It takes time to earn that ‘respect’….and we (as female racers) aren’t always given that time.”
Of course there is the J. D. Gibbs’ philosophy: if you’ve got it as a driver, you’ve got it, and it shows quickly.
“I’m not sure if that really sums up everything,” Daniels insists. “To showcase your talent you’ve got to get in good equipment. That’s what a lot of us struggle with.
“Joey Logano’s parents helped him get in good equipment all the way up. But then Denny Hamlin just caught a lucky break; he thought his career was about over, when this (Gibbs) deal came along.”
Jessica Brunelli: Like father, like daughter. At 15 she’s fast-tracking toward NASCAR, here in a Ford Midget (Photo: Bill Brunelli)
Which is just the point that Jessica Brunelli wants to make.
She was among the promising young drivers here that Hendrick, Roush, Childress and Gibbs all missed, because they had more pressing things to attend to. And Brunelli—who looks considerably older than a 15-year-old rising high school sophomore – may have some racing wisdom that NASCAR’s big team owners could stand to listen to.
While her classmates may be looking toward the junior-senior prom, Brunelli has a career to get on with. She’s been racing since seven, and while this is only her first year on ovals, she’s aggressive about her future: “This year my game plan is to get a win….and I’ve put in for the drive-for-diversity program, and hopefully I’ll get that (’scholarship’) and get a little money.”
She’s raced Skip Barber cars, and Formula BMW, she’s been around Laguna Seca, she’s a Ford project, running Focus Midgets. She’s looking for a Truck ride, if NASCAR will give her a shot. At the moment her rides are in Grand American Modifieds, the classic 600-horsepower open-wheels. “We’ll see where that goes.
“I was going to Late Models this year, but I’m too young.”
She’s certainly versatile, getting a lot of looks. Whether she sticks, well, that remains to be seen.
But Brunelli clearly looks serious about all this: “Women in racing, because we’re in the minority, get a lot of attention….but attention sometimes for the wrong reasons.
“But I have such a passion for this sport.
“Now If someone gets attention just because they’re a female, it may get to you, and maybe that’s the way some men look at it.
“But the reason there are fewer women in racing is we are built different – not physically but mentally we are different.
“It has been proven that women have a better focus in the car, if they want to. We have better peripheral vision than a male driver. But when we are stressed, that is less than a male.
“Men do have more testosterone, which leads to better muscles. Women don’t want to muscled, though we could be stronger if we wanted to. I just spent a month at Pit-Fit, a training facility here in Indianapolis, for crews, and I built a lot of muscle.
“And a woman be just as fit as a man when it comes to cardiovascular.
“Females have different priorities than men, and we may get distracted by different things.
“And we also, being females, have different emotional complications, in different parts of the year, different parts of the month, feeling ups and downs. The reason there are so few of us is that a lot of us can’t overcome that.
“But just because there are those differences you shouldn’t put women in a different category. You should give them an equal opportunity to show what they can do.”
Agree? Disagree? Don’t just brood. Express yourself here, and make your voice heard clearly in NASCAR headquarters in Daytona and Charlotte and in NASCAR race shops throughout North Carolina and the rest of the country.
We want your reaction, so please comment on this story and offer your own opinions and insight, on this topic, on our NASCAR videos, and anything about NASCAR. Any questions, just ask Mike at [email protected]. And bookmark this page for continually updated NASCAR reports: https://independenttribune.net/index.php/sports/mulhern/