Lake Norman Magazine

Lakefront: Blond Ambition

Candace Munzy, full-time race car driver.
Candace Munzy, full-time race car driver.

Candace Muzny is a bit of a contradiction. The Mooresville resident has a degree in fashion marketing and looks like a model, yet she’s also an experienced welder, works on engines and drives race cars. In fact, you can catch her this month at The Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series at the Richmond International Raceway. Originally from Oklahoma City, Okla., Muzny says she grew up around cars and racing. Her cousins drove sprint cars at local tracks, and her father owned a Texaco and tow-truck company. “I worked in my dad’s shop doing things like brake jobs and oil changes. I just loved being around that kind of thing.” Despite her affinity for things with engines and four wheels, her father didn’t want her to go into racing because he felt it was too dangerous. So Muzny pursued her other interest, fashion, and earned a degree in fashion marketing from the University of Texas in Dallas. Yet racing remained her true passion, and after she graduated college Muzny moved to Las Vegas to try to break into the industry. In 2002 she competed in her first race, driving a Speed Truck at the Bullring at the Las Vegas Speedway. She started in 29th place and finished 14th. “I was so stoked,” she says. Not long after that first race she met Dell Dalrymple, who raced Late Model stock cars in California. The two became friends, and she moved to California where they raced and built cars together. “That was a huge learning experience for me,” she says. “He taught me how to weld and fabricate.” For several years Dalrymple made cars for the Jesse James, owner of West Coast Choppers and fodder for the tabloids. Muzny says James also sponsored her race car through his Jesse’s Girl clothing line. As the two continued to work together, Muzny and Dalrymple’s friendship grew into something more, and the two became engaged. But tragically, Dalrymple passed away suddenly 2007. Muzny says James encouraged her to head back east to continue her racing career. That’s what brought her to Mooresville in 2008. She rented a race shop from LW Miller, and in 2009 started her own team, CNM Racing. Over the years she’s raced at numerous regional tracks, including at Tri-County Motor Speedway and Hickory Motor Speedway. In 223 starts in various racing divisions, she’s scored 26 top-five finishes. “I’m a full-time race car driver and I own my own team, which is a challenge, especially as a woman, but I love it,” she says. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

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