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A SHINING STAR RISES Racing Is More Than Just A Sport For Eva Star Malabanan By Mike Vieira At just sixteen years of age, Eva Star Malabanan is making a big name for herself as a driver in the Pro UTV NA Class, recently garnering a second-place finish in the San Felipe 250.  She’s a third-generation racer and already has six years of experience behind the wheel.  Being a part of the racing scene with her father, Sean, grandfather, and uncles over her entire life, Eva decided early on that she wanted to be an off-road racer herself.  Her first attendance at a SCORE race was at just four months old when she and her mom chased her dad down the peninsula in the 2007 SCORE Baja 1000. Managing Selective Mutism, a condition that makes it difficult for her to speak in certain situations, Eva says racing is her “happy place” and provides her with the ability to concentrate completely on the task at hand.  Her mom and manager, Tracy says, “For her, it was more than just a sport.  It was helping her to talk.”  She recalls that when Eva was younger, they were looking for a sport for her to get involved in, but nothing seemed to interest Eva.  The family bought a small, kids’ race car for Eva and her brother in late 2017. She loved it, and was ready to race!  Her parents entered her in the Kuervitoz Kids races in Baja, and Eva brought home a second-place championship for the 2018 season, and a first-place championship for 2019, along with other race wins and championships in those early years.  Now her SCORE career has begun with her dad at her side as co-driver. Tracy says, “It’s just us, our family, and a few friends.  We’re just like a tiny little family garage team and are in disbelief that all this is happening.  We’re so proud of her.”  Although there have been a few doubters, her mom says she finds more love than hate, and Eva’s performance ultimately brings the respect she deserves.    Eva admires SCORE Pro UTV Open racer Kristen Matlock and hopes to follow in her footsteps with future success in the UTV classes. Eva also likes the positive representation Matlock provides for the sport.  She plans to compete in all the SCORE races this year, and in the foreseeable future, she’ll likely stay in the same class with her now 10-year-old car. Then Eva will look at moving up to higher-level UTVs after that.  She has clearly found something she loves to do and is showing she has the skills to win on the race course.  With her advanced abilities at this early age, there’s no telling how far she’ll go in the next few years so the future is indeed bright for Eva Star.  

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