There aren’t too many race fans at Dinosaur Downs bigger than Bailey Waters.
Bailey and her mother, Bonita Gilmar, have been in the valley since 2017.
Many may remember Bailey from her meeting with McKenna Grace, star of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when the production was filming in the valley when Bailey was 15. Her other passion is racing cars.
Gilmar tells the Mail she has been involved in racing for years and since Bailey was three, she has been at tracks all over Alberta.
Her passion for the track, the cars and the racers are unparalleled. Her favourite IMCA Modified driver is #56 Garth Dusanek.
She has an extensive collection of Hot-Wheels cars that she customizes.
Bailey, 18, is on the autistic spectrum and is often guarded, but at the race track, she can socialize, cheer and have fun.
Many of the drivers actually give her their trophies.
“The race track is a place where I can let Bailey be Bailey. Everybody knows her. I have no fear for safety,” said Gilmar.
“The race track is the first place in all the things we do that she can go and be Bailey.”
Now 18, Bailey had her first opportunity to get behind the wheel.
On September 24, at an event, several Ag Society members and track safety workers made it a reality. Bailey Barnes lent Bailey the #13 car, and she was able to make a few hot laps alone in the car.
After a couple of trips around the track, her speeds and lines improved.
“Ask her, and she’ll tell you she’s a racer now,” said Gilmar.
On November 5, Dinosaur Downs Speedway wrapped up its season with a banquet, and Bailey was awarded Fan of the Year for her time, effort, and support she has shown for the track and the drivers.