Her father, Lynn Hemus, was a long-time track announcer at then-Sears Point Raceway and Laguna Seca.
That was Michell's introduction to motor sports, and she
took it from there.She's
been "wrenching on-and-off since I was 18," taking some time off to sell auto parts.She
even did some bookkeeping for a spell, but eventually found her
way back to her
tool of choice, a wrench."I just wasn't happy selling parts or doing bookkeeping," Hemus
said."I'm doing my dream job now right now.I consider myself the luckiest woman in the world."But it wasn't always that way for Hemus
encountered the traditional stereotypes early-on in her
career."They didn't quite know what to make of me back then (in the 1980s)," Hemus
said."But once I showed them I could do the job they started to trust me and have confidence in me.I think the world today is a different place and you can do anything you want.But back in the day, women were expected to stay at home and be homemakers and things like that.But that wasn't for me.When I broke into the business, it was an oddity, but I gained respect."Hemus has been working at M&L and John Cerini Motorsports, both based at Infineon Raceway, fulltime for four years.
The bulk of her
duties are overseeing the maintenance on her
four race cars, but she
still gets behind the wheel when she
can."It's an absolute adrenaline rush," she
said of driving her
dad's Spec-Miata."The concentration you have to have surpasses anything you can think of.It's pretty unreal."Almost as unreal as a young 18-year-old woman blasting around northern California racetracks back in 1981 in an Austin Healy Sprite."Maybe I was ahead of my time a little bit but I loved doing it, and I'll keep doing it," Hemus
has seen just about it all in motor sports, and she
will continue to do so, until she
hangs up her
"wrench" for the last time.