There are still glass ceilings for women, but Michell Lackey Maynor is breaking them in Alaska. On Feb. 26, 2021, Maynor was promoted to President and Majority Owner of Alaska Raceway Park located in Butte.
“Being the new President of ARP is awesome and a little overwhelming at times,” Maynor said. “I have big shoes to fill and even bigger ideas to make happen. I’m happy that I can take over for my parents and let them enjoy what they’ve built over the past 25 years.”
Her parents have curated her for this, supporting her involvement in the family’s business despite her gender.
“Michelle comes to her new position genetically (born a Lackey, raised at the track, and racing sleds, her pickup truck, dirt stock, and earning an NHRA competition license), but she also brings creativity, business experience, her flair, and a commitment to the future of racing in Alaska as well.” the Lackey’s stated. “Alaska Raceway Park is in good hands.”
Maynor lives, eats, and breathes racing and autos. She began racing in high school and has competed in anything from snowmachines to SCCA. She won the Arctic Man Ski & Sno-go classic, competed in drag races and hill climbs, and, most recently, started stock car racing on dirt tracks.
“This is the job I was meant to do,” Michelle Maynor said.
While pregnant with her son, she even won the open-air championship at the Alaska Raceway Park. Her son now races junior dragsters and bandoleros.
“I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to be able to continue providing a place for motorsports enthusiasts and families for years to come,” Maynor continued.
Michelle Maynor graduated from the University of Alaska with a marketing degree and has owned several successful Alaskan businesses and non-profits. She is also a member of the Butte Community Council and Susitna Rotary. She is now one of few women leading racetracks.
When asked what the glass ceiling sounded like as she broke it, Maynor said “Maybe a burnout or a revving engine.”
Karen and Earl Lackey, the current owners, will transition into advisory roles. Maynor will take over running the daily operations. Her role includes facility growth, event management, marketing and promotions, sponsorships, community relations, and staffing—on top of her motorsports participation.
“To be one of the few female raceway presidents is exciting. I enjoy being a role model for younger generations,” Maynor concluded. “There are definitely some challenges with my role, but I can’t pinpoint if they are due to me still gaining experience or if it’s just because I’m a girl. I just know I’m the right person for this job right now and I’ll make it the best I can.”