Local racer is quickly rising to the top

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Western Colorado saw many of its teams excel this fall on the football field and in other sports, but did you know we're also home to one of the country's most promising race car drivers?

Grand Junction is the home to one of the country's top rising athletes, but this one won't be seen on a field or court.

"I want to go the Indy car route, the Mazda Tour to Indy is what I'd really really like to go towards," said Sabré Cook, 19 of Grand Junction.

And she's well on her way to that dream. Forget the fact that a female is dominating a traditionally male sport.

In 2007 at age 13, she won her first Kart World Championship. In 2012, Cook was the S2 semi-pro national champion, before bumping up to S1 in 2013 with the best kart racers around.

"S2 there was more of just a handful of fast people, where in S1, every single one of those people has had to win a national championship or win races. So it's like all of the best in one class."

The 19 year old racer took another big step towards Indy this year, finishing third in the rankings out of more than 300 drivers. Perhaps more impressive is that Cook continues to train while working towards an engineering degree full time at Colorado School of Mines.

"It's unbelievably hard."

"Most of all the drivers she competes with, 99% are male," said Stacey Cook, Sabré's father and part of her race team. "Maybe one or two are trying to go to school and compete racing. She's doing both and going to one of the most difficult schools in the country."

If her racing continues to blossom, Sabré may have to decide in the near future between finishing school and racing professionally, but for now is just enjoying the ride.

Sabré will begin preparing for the next level of competition in open-wheel racing soon.

An issue that can arise among aspiring drivers is funding. She was recently awarded a prestigious grant by the Women's Sports Foundation in order to help cover the expenses of her upcoming season.

Read the original version of this article at www.nbc11news.com.

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