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Karsyn-ElledgeTwelve-year-old Karsyn Elledge is going to carry on the family tradition in racing.

The petite eight-grader, who is the granddaughter of racing legend Dale Earnhardt,  announced at a press conference on Saturday that she is entering the family business this summer full throttle.

Wearing a bright pink SpongeBob SquarePants driving suit, Karsyn stood in the Sonoma Raceway Winner’s Circle and proudly unveiled the new No. 3 Nickelodeon-sponsored pink Mini Outlaw sprint car she’ll use barnstorming the West Coast for her summer vacation. The young driver has a dozen races lined up in California, Oregon and Washington.

NASCAR fans will recognize that  the No. 3 car was made famous by Karsyn’s grandfather.

Karsyn, who has been racing for four years, has dominated the Mini Outlaw Box Stock class at her local Millbridge, N.C., short track, winning five of eight races this season. Her father, former Sprint Cup Series crew chief Jimmy Elledge, felt it a good idea to test her elsewhere, and the Nickelodeon sponsorship cemented the deal.

Dad is obviously a big influence in Karsyn’s life. Her Twitter bio (@KarsynElledge3) says “I found my prince. his name is daddy.”

The pre-teen racer received a text message from uncle Dale (Ernhardt, Jr.)  to calm her nerves right before her news conference where she told the crowd she’s excited to take the next step.

”It’s very fun, and not just because it’s my family thing. It’s just interesting and so much fun. I love it,” she said. ”I’m excited to compete at a higher level because it will only make me better and give me experience.”

When asked about favorite driver, Danica Patrick, Karsyn got really excited.

”I’m a very big Danica Patrick fan. She’s like my idol,” Karsyn said. ”She’s a girl and she races and she shows that girls can do it, too.”

When Karsyn isn’t racing she is like any other 12-year old; she spends time on her phone or computer, likes to ride her bike and visit with her horse. She insists her classmates in school don’t pay much attention to her racing.

What a great way to bring the No. 3 back to the Earnhardt family. Good luck Karsyn – we’ll be following you.

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