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Avon teen driver needs community help to earn large sponsorship

AVON, Ind. (WISH) -- An Avon teenager is vying for a large sponsorship to continue her racing career. It would be $50,000 worth of support for a girl who is already overcoming the odds.

Makala Marks is a freshman at Avon High School, a place where there are thousands of teens, but she is one of only a few who races and is even more rare as a female behind the wheel. Now she's hoping the community will help her earn this sponsorship from Champion to jump start her career.

For most people, racing would be described as exciting, an adrenaline boost, even frightening, but that's not accurate for Marks.

"It's calming. Like I feel calm when I drive," Marks said.

The road to racing hasn't been easy for Marks though. A traumatic brain injury when she was just four years old, left her fighting for her life.

"I fell out of a two story window. I don't remember much of what happened," Marks said.

For years, Marks battled seizures and migraines, until she was 8 and doctors cleared her to drive.

"We practice when we can, when my mom's not working or when my dad's not working. Sometimes it's just me and my mom, my mom does a lot for me," Marks said.

Since Makala got behind the wheel, the Marks family has been her team providing, not only cheers on race day each weekend, but also financial support and even serving as mechanics on Marks' vehicles.

"My sister would help me change my tires and stuff," Marks said.

Marks quickly proved herself a winner and even earned the attention of driver Pippa Mann.

"She's always helped me. She trained me when I was like 8. We went to the indoor karting place and she's always helped me after that," Marks said.

Now Makala Marks Racing wants to change gears moving up a class and even possibly joins a top cart team, but Marks needs your help. Makala is one of 25 finalists chosen from more than 1,000 entries for a $50,000 sponsorship from Champion. It's a contest she can't win on the track, she needs your vote.

"It would help me out a lot for racing, like a lot. It would be a big thing for me. I would really appreciate it if they voted for me," Marks said.

Makala Marks is one of just two finalists from Indiana in the top 25 for the Champion sponsorship. There is a boy from Lebanon in the running as well.

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