In her third season with NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, Isabella Robusto finds herself making steady progress with her transition into Late Model Stock competition.
Isabella kicked off her 2021 campaign at South Boston Speedway back on March 20 with two Top 10s but she is hoping that additional track time will result in stronger finishes.
“So far things have gone really well,” Isabella said. “We didn’t get the finish we wanted [at South Boston] but I’m getting more comfortable with restarts and passing in general. That’s what I was struggling on at the end of last year so that’s my main focus.
Isabella and her twin brother William Robusto have been invested in auto racing since they each climbed into their first go-kart when they were five years old.
The siblings spent the next several years developing their talents in go-karts and Bandoleros before earning an opportunity to race Legends cars at Charlotte Motor Speedway as part of the Summer Shootout.
Two consistent seasons from Isabella at Charlotte resulted in her joining Drive for Diversity in 2018 as part of Rev Racing’s Youth Driver Program.
Isabella was not a part of Drive for Diversity in 2019 but ended up rejoining them the following year after registering a victory and a second-place points finish in the Summer Shootout’s Semi-Pro class.
While William has maintained his commitment to go-kart racing, Isabella now finds herself tackling several different tracks on the East Coast as she gains more experience behind the wheel of a Rev Racing Late Model Stock.
Isabella admitted that driving Late Model Stocks came with a learning curve but she now feels more comfortable with a rigorous schedule in front of her in 2021.
“I felt like the transition was kind of easy coming from Legends cars,” Isabella said. “I had some issues at first understanding what the boundaries were. During my first few races, I left a ton of room open while I was trying pass people to the inside but once I figure that out, things came easier for me.”
Among the tracks Isabella has competed at so far include Hickory Motor Speedway, Tri-County Speedway and Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Her favorite place to race was at Myrtle Beach Speedway up until the track’s closure in 2020.
The abrasive nature of those facilities have helped Isabella enjoy herself in Late Model Stocks, as she can carry over her prior knowledge on patience and equipment conservation into her current discipline.
“In go-karting you had to save your tires because they wore out relatively fast, so that has really helped me a lot,” Isabella said. “That’s why I liked Myrtle Beach so much because if you saved your tires enough in the first half of the race you could pretty much dominate the second half.”
Tire conservation will be imperative for Isabella as she travels to Hickory this weekend, where she is optimistic in her ability to break through and bring home her first Late Model Stock victory for Rev Racing.
“I’m definitely pushing for a win,” Isabella said. “My goal is to finish Top 3, have a strong race and be up in the mix. The car felt really good during our test session, so hopefully we can get that win.”
Isabella has aspirations to race in the NASCAR Cup Series one day soon but she is currently focused on her development so she can win with Rev Racing on a regular basis.