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Karry Simpson,Watercross,snowmobile

Karry Simpson: Watercross Wonder Woman

By Stephen King

A while back, I did a column each month where I highlighted a prominent racer. Called it “Racer of the Month.” It went over pretty well. Kind of humanized the big names everyone cheers for at the tracks.

Now, this month, with our theme being “Women in Snowmobiling,” I thought what better time to highlight one of the watercross racers. I knew there were a lot of very good lady racers out there. From experience, I know if you call a lot of them “Powder Puffs” you might find yourself looking at the stars and hearing birds chirping. I have known a lot of lady racers, and many of them are as tough as most of the guys.

So, when I went to the Jeff Moyle Memorial Water X Races in Lake Linden last month, I wanted to find out which woman in this sport was really standing out. That did not take long. I saw a post about Karry Simpson, who has been winning just about everything.

When I got up there, most of the people in the IWA also touted her as the best female racer. So, I made it a point to get introduced to her.

Karry Simpson

Karry Simpson

What a wonderful person! First thing I noticed (all I have are exes right now, so I can say this safely) is that she is very pretty. Next thing, when I interviewed her, I found out she is a most wonderful person. Then, I found out that she was a farm gir lfrom Wisconsin. (How much better can this get?!?)

She explained she has always liked racing. “I grew up on the farm, riding dirt bikes. I have always enjoyed motorsports,” Karry said.

A few years back, when she got into racing, she totally exploded onto the scene. She started racing motocross first and, right off the bat, she started winning races. Then, she started racing snowcross and started winning. As a matter of fact, she won her very first race. Then, the following summer, she got into watercross. “I loved racing snowcross and thought watercross would just be fun,” she said.

In watercross, she took her skills to the next level — and she did have fun, lots of fun. She quickly became one of the biggest names in watercross racing. Then, last year, she had an awesome year. In 2019, Karry won the Women’s World Championship in the 600 Drags. And she also made history when she became the first woman to take a first for the season in the Semi-Pro Open Class — racing with the guys. And, in almost an understatement, she is also the reigning champ in the Women’s Open Class.

Karry Simpson

Karry Simpson

Karry Simpson

This catapulted her into the top ranks of the watercross elite. No other woman has ever achieved this level of success. However, her success has come at a bit of a price. Since winning the Semi-Pro Class Points Championship last season, she now has to race against the guys in the Pro Class — the fastest class in watercross.

However, she is not at all intimidated. As a matter of fact, she acts as if she is enjoying the competition. Week after week, she gets out onto the track and goes head to head against the fastest drivers in watercross. And, in the best compliment any racer can give another, they look at her on the water as one of their own. They do not take a win over them for granted. As a matter of fact, she is currently riding a wave that shows she belongs there.

However, her success has not gone to her head. She remains a very personable woman. Very polite and, although proud of her success, she has no problem sharing that success.
One of the things she highlighted in our interview was how much she appreciated and needed the help from her crew. “To get here, I have worked really hard. But I cannot do this by myself. It takes an entire team to win,” she said. “I drive the sled. But I could not do this without my crew, Ryan Keith and Mike Doriott. Without them helping me, I would never have achieved the success that I have.”

As for her sled, she rides a tricked out Arctic Cat that Mike puts together for her. She lovingly calls it “The Jungle Cat.” Regarding that, many racers get the urge to say things like “nice kitty” or “Hello, Kitty.” But, a great many of the men and women she competes against, just wave good-bye as she leaves them in her wake.

So, if you ever get a chance to see watercross racing in person, be sure to look for Karry. Chances are that she will be the one in the lead.

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