Rita Goulet is a police officer in Gastonia, North Carolina who races part time in the ARCA Menard's Series. She drives the #31 Chevrolet SS for Rise Motorsports in the ARCA Menard's Series (a NASCAR touring division and a feeder series into the top three NASCAR series).
Hi! My name is Rita Goulet, I'm a police officer in the Gastonia Police Department (Gastonia, North Carolina), and I'm currently racing in the ARCA Menard's Series, driving the #31 for our newly formed team, Rise Motorsports.
First, a little bit about myself. I grew up exceedingly poor and became homeless at 16, in part due to a father who was addicted to alcohol and gambling, and a mother who struggled with mental illness.
When the tragic events of 9/11 happened, I was living at a homeless shelter and working part time at a small theater in Anchorage, Alaska. I remember seeing the disaster unfold on our little break room TV. All I wanted to do was come over and help, but I realized that I didn't have any useful skills and would only be in the way. I resolved to never feel that useless again and came up with a plan to be able to spend my career helping others.
Shortly afterwards, I put myself through paramedic school in Alaska while escaping an abusive marriage, then moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 2006 to complete my paramedic training. I finally learned how to drive when I was 23 and I bought my very first car, a 1992 Mazda Miata. While driving that little Miata, I felt a sense of freedom and control that I had never experienced before, and I was absolutely in love with driving it to the limit. I wanted to race, but at the time, racing was not financially feasible, so I settled with zooming all over my local backcountry roads.
After five years of working as a paramedic, I realized I wanted to do more for my community, so in 2011, I became a police officer for the City of Tuscaloosa (I was promoted to patrol sergeant in 2018).
I finally started my motorsports career in 2018 by becoming involved in autocross (a tiny racecourse set up with traffic cones in a parking lot and each car runs the course for the best time). I started talking with other drivers and realized that with a few updates, it was possible to race my Miata on an actual racetrack. Without having ever actually been on a racetrack, I started slowly turning my Miata into a race car. I simply knew that this was what I was meant to do. My first track day in that Miata was March of 2019, and by November 2019, I had my novice racing license and had completed my first race (I won my class!).
I spent all of 2020 racing my Miata in events throughout the Southeast, but I'd still watch old NASCAR videos and daydream. All those drivers started so young and didn't have the challenges I had growing up. So, a daydream it remained, until I started researching and found out that there's a NASCAR series called ARCA that's relatively affordable and perfect for new drivers just starting out! It's considered the fourth tier in the NASCAR series and is a developmental series into the upper tiers of NASCAR (Trucks, Xfinity, and Cup).
After a year of preparation and training, I took the leap in 2022 and made my ARCA debut driving the #03 for Clubb Racing at the Berlin Raceway (Marne, Michigan) and at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course (Franklin, Ohio). I also raced the #06 for Wayne Peterson Racing at Watkins Glen and the #31 for Tim Goulet Enterprises at the Milwaukee Mile.
At the end of 2022, I decided to do everything I can in order to make my NASCAR efforts as successful as possible. I resigned from the Tuscaloosa Police Department, moved to North Carolina, and am working as a patrol officer in Gastonia, NC. I also fell in love with the most amazing person on the planet, and on January 1st, 2023, I married Tim Goulet at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
I'm incredibly excited to see what 2023 has in store for both me and Rise Motorsports!
I'm always looking for business partners who are interested in a budget-friendly advertising platform. If you'd like to learn more about how Rita Goulet Racing can help your business grow, click the button below!
An amazing test day at Carolina Motorsports Park
Within 4 seconds of the Spec Miata lap record!
That's what I live for!