Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
Olivia Murray first found an outlet for her competitiveness in dance.
Only there’s a problem with the sport of choreography and calculated movement: Dancing has never pitted the 13-year-old from Fuquay-Varina against her brother, or given her an opportunity to beat out the boys.
But something else has.
Earlier this year, Olivia Murray took a seat behind the wheel of a Bandoleros race car for the first time. Since then, her love of dance has started to fade as an interest in a new sport has taken off.
“She competitive dances, so she’s really competitive,” said her mother, Wendy Murray. “So when we put her in that car, she just kept up and I was like, ‘Oh wow.’”
On Saturday night at Southern National Motorsports Park, Olivia competed in only her 10th ever race on Championship Night at the Track. Only the night turned out to be more special than just reaching double digits in her young racing career.
When Olivia climbed into her No. 51 Bandolero for only the second event of the night, her 15-year-old brother was preparing to take off from his pole position in a nearby No. 4 black and blue car.
When the 10-lap race began, it quickly became a family affair.
Both siblings admit that they are competitive, but all the Murrays agree Olivia is more competitive. Wendy and Randy Murray said if it came down to it, their daughter wouldn’t hesitate to wreck her brother if he stood between her and the finish line.
“If it got down to it, she’d spin her brother in a heartbeat,” their father said with a laugh.
Olivia never had that chance on Saturday night, as her older brother led from start to finish and crossed the finish line a half lap ahead of the field.
But just five seconds after Cameron won, his little sister came cruising through to capture second place. Seeing their children take the top two spots, the pride welled up in the Murrays.
“It don’t get better than that,” Randy Murray said. “That’s why we live. That’s the reason we work.”
Cameron only became old enough to get his learner’s permit in May, but he’s been racing for the last two years. He started with the Bandoleros event, but recently tacked on the Legends race at the beginning of this season too, picking up his first victory in the event in July.
Olivia is still a couple years away from legally driving on the roads, but when she came to be the same age as her brother when he first started racing, she started racing too.
“It’s kind of cool to have your little sibling follow in your footsteps,” Cameron said. “Not everybody gets to do that.”
Olivia was the only girl to race in the Bandolero division Saturday night. So far, representing against the boys is something she has enjoyed most about the thrill of speeding around the track.
On a night full of races, the two siblings were not the only family to race against each other. In the U-CAR/Any Car combination race, Joe Lanier won by a photo finish over his son Curtis Lanier and the two stopped to put their arm around the other and pose for a picture showing off the same grin on victory lane.
But because the competition between the Murray siblings is still pretty new, neither has taken the experience for granted.
“It’s really nice because being siblings, and being in a sibling rivalry is kind of rare,” Olivia said. “For us to be doing it is fun.”
Though both siblings want to beat the other, at the end of the day they both support the other.
“I’m proud of him,” a smiling Olivia said after the Bandolero race, as her braces shone through in her happiness. “It’s been a great year and I’m glad he’s enjoying what he’s doing here.”
A few minutes after the Murray siblings finished up competing against each other, they stood together to pose for a picture in victory late. In an orange and royal blue racing suit and a black and blue “CMR” hat standing for Cameron Murray Racing, the older sibling held up the plaque and a single finger representing his first-place finish.
Right next to him, Olivia, wearing a pink Under Armour shirt, held up two fingers. The two wanted to capture the moment of a special night.
Shortly after, Cameron Murray reflected on the night that was.
“It’s a lot of fun racing against my sister,” he said.
After winning the Bandoleros, Cameron took to the track again later that night in the Legends race and came in third behind winner Mason Diaz and Emily Day. The finish was good enough to give him the 2019 track championship in the event.
“It’s been a pretty good year,” Cameron said. “Even to have a trophy that big is pretty special to have. I just hope we get to do it again.”
But pretty soon, his sister might be coming for him in that event too.
In an article about Saturday’s race in Wednesday’s edition of The Wilson Times, several results were omitted.
Brad Blizzard took home the 2019 track championship in the U-CAR/ Any Car division as the points leader in the event.
After Cameron Murray and his sister Oliva took first and second in Saturday’s race, the Bandoleros points championship for 2019 was awarded to Jacob O’Neal.