19-year-old ready to race in Swamp Buggy competition

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NAPLES, Fla.- Jordan Gardner, 19, is being called the Danica Patrick of Swamp Buggy racing as she prepares to face a large field of competitors this weekend at the Florida Sports Park in Collier County.

“You kind of got to know people,” said Gardner, “for instance, I wouldn’t of been able to get into it if it wasn’t for my dad.”

This weekend, Gardner, her dad and roughly 70 other drivers will compete in the race that’s locally referred to as the ‘NASCAR in the swamp.’

“People think, ‘oh you’re in like the junior class or you’re in a girl’s class,'” Gardner said, “No, it’s just if you have a buggy race.”

Gardner is normally one of the youngest, if not, the youngest competitors. She picked up swamp buggy racing from her dad who has been hooked on the sport for years.

“It started off as hunting buggies; they had a dual purpose,” Reece Gardner told WINK News. “They hunted with them and they raced with them. Eventually they became strictly racing machines and that’s what we have now.”

The Gardners say people don’t race in this sport for money, but bragging rights. Roughly 10,000 fans show up to the races annually.

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