Racing is in the Rivet family’s blood

  • Kim Rivet of Antrim is a race car driver at Monadnock Speedway. Photo by Emily Miller—

  • Kim Rivet of Antrim is a race car driver at Monadnock Speedway. Photo by Emily Miller—

  • Kim Rivet of Antrim leads the pack at Monadnock Speedway. Photo by Emily Miller—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 7/31/2019 5:57:52 PM

Monadnock Speedway drivers take notice when the pink No. 99 car speeds by them. Kim Rivet of Antrim grew up as one of only a few female racers, first on the go-kart circuit and then in the stock car/sportsman modified scene. And while the ranks have been filled out by a growing number of female drivers, none have had more success locally than Rivet, who became the first woman to win a sportsman modified race at Swanzey’s Monadnock Speedway last summer. 

“That was our goal since we entered this division,” said Rivet, “to get that win and that’s at the point now where we just want to keep getting those wins.”

Rivet, a dental assistant by day and weekend race car driver, was steeped in the racing scene from an early age. As a child in Chicopee, Massachusetts, Rivet’s father Ron was a pit crew member for a family friend, and Saturdays at the track were a weekly occurrence for the Rivet family. Once she got a taste of it herself, there was no turning back for Rivet. 

“I think when I was about four, they put me in a go-kart,” Rivet said. “They couldn’t get me out of it to let my brother try.”

Rivet started racing go-karts competitively at seven years old and then made the switch to race cars, hitting the tracks of Western Massachusetts before settling into the circuit at Monadnock Speedway. She moved to Antrim about six years ago, but each Saturday in Swanzey is a family reunion, as her father – now part of her pit crew – and her brother, who serves as spotter, drive to meet her there and carry on the family tradition. 

“It’s in our blood,” Rivet said. “It keeps the family together because we still get to see each other every Saturday even though we live two hours apart...It’s really cool to be able to see each other every single Saturday no matter what is going on.”

Rivet said she and her crew are still working to adjust to some of this season’s rule changes, which change some of the standards her race car has to meet, and that – paired with getting caught up in a few unavoidable wrecks and the return of some veteran drivers to the division– has left them short of last summer’s glory, where she racked up a slew of top-three finishes along with her big win. 

“We’re working on the car to get it better,” Rivet said. 

As the sportsman modified division’s most decorated female driver, Rivet has a bit of a target on her back when she hits the track against her male counterparts.

“It’s definitely more difficult, because the guys like even less getting beat by a girl than anyone else,” Rivet said. “But it’s also a great challenge. That’s the reason why my car is pink, so they know who it is passing them.”


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