Bar News - June 18, 2014
Practitioner Profiles: Engines and Engineering
By: Carol Robidoux
Patent Attorney Finds Happiness in Stock Car Racing
There are two things that make patent attorney Keri Sicard giggle out loud – seeing her name on the company stationery at Concord law office Loginov & Sicard, and speeding across the finish line at White Mountain Motorsports Park in her cherry-red Chevy Cavalier mini-stock race car, emblazoned with yellow flames.
IP attorney Keri Sicard takes the win in her mini stock car.
Keri Sicard and her father, fellow patent attorney David Driscoll, pose for a photo in 2004 with their stock cars after a race.
Keri Sicard in her office at Loginov & Sicard in Concord, where she recently made partner.
“I’ve only been a partner for six months, so yeah, I still literally giggle when I see my name on the letterhead,” says Sicard. “And when it comes to racing, even though I still get nervous enough to feel like throwing up before every race, as soon as I’m out on the track, the adrenaline kicks in and it’s just pure excitement.”
She’s been racing at White Mountain Motorsports for 14 years.
“Most people get into stock car racing because they have a parent or family member involved. For me, it just so happened that my family had a condo in Lincoln, where we would go to ski. When I was about 12, a neighbor asked my dad if he knew there was a racetrack just down the road, in Woodstock. My dad and I decided to check it out one Saturday, and we’ve been going ever since,” Sicard says. “I think my dad has missed two Saturday races in 20 years.”
Sicard soaked up everything she could about stock car racing, finally entering her first race at age 17, behind the wheel of a four-cylinder, red-and-white mini stock Volkswagen Scirocco.
“I was one of maybe two girls racing, and I finished sixth in points my first season,” says Sicard.
Between college, career and kids, Sicard, 31, has been in about 50 races over only three or four full seasons. But over the years she and her dad, fellow patent attorney David Driscoll, both have enjoyed the thrill of the chase and the competitive strategies of stock car racing.
In fact, it was through racing that Sicard met her future husband, Jody Sicard – after edging his brother, Shane Sicard, at the finish line in 2004.
“Shane and I were both going for ‘Rookie of the Year’ that year. But during the race, Shane’s engine blew up, so Jody gave Shane his car to finish the race. And even though I beat him to the finish line, he beat me by two points overall, and won ‘Rookie of the Year.’ To this day, I’m proud of myself for being that competitive, though, considering he had a lot more experience racing,” Sicard says.
“I like to tell the kids that if I’d just flirted a little more with Jody, maybe he wouldn’t have given Shane his car and I would have won,” Sicard says with a smile.
She eventually flirted enough that Jody Sicard proposed marriage. Not only do they both continue to race, but together they have started a stock car racing dynasty with their blended brood of three children since marrying in 2011: Thomas, 6, from her first marriage; Austin, 3; and Makenzi, 2.
“All my kids love riding cars around the yard – they have about 10 between them, including cars, four-wheelers and tractors. I’m not surprised that they love it so much. In fact, I’ll be more surprised if they don’t go into racing,” Sicard said. “Especially my 2-year-old. I’m hoping she’ll be the first girl to win the Daytona 500.”
Sicard credits her dad as a huge influence, not only with supporting her aspirations as a race car driver, but through his own success as a patent attorney. She remembers going to the office with him years ago on “Take Your Daughter to Work Day,” and writing a one-page description of a contraption he had in his office, which turned out to be a toilet paper holder.
“It was kind of cool, all the prototypes my dad would come home with,” Sicard says.
Being a patent attorney is where science meets law, which truly satisfies her interest in engineering, and how things work, she says.
So, if you see Sicard smiling, it’s probably because her inner geek is firing on all cylinders, whether working out the finer details of a patentability analysis, or fine-tuning the shaft alignment of her mini-stock, with just the right adjustment to her jacking bolts.
“I’m always trying to solve a problem,” says Sicard. “Whether in racing or in my practice, it’s the engineer in me trying to figure out how to make things work better.”
You can see Sicard’s 2014 race schedule at www.whitemountainmotorsports.com and cheer her on at White Mountain Motorsports Park in Woodstock, NH.