Back On Track

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The majority of my childhood memories consist of weekend trips to the racetrack. What kind of racetrack is it that I am talking about? Well, my father has been drag racing since he was 16 years old. To put that into perspective, he has been the driver of a 1968 Pontiac Firebird (that he bought as a 16 year old) for 36 years. My dad remodeled and built a motor for his Pontiac for a higher class in drag racing. Unable to allow himself to sell his “jewel” it is still put to use, just by me. Yes, I am the driver now of the Classic Costello “Green Weiny.”

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I didn’t just jump in the (145 mph in 9 seconds) power machine out of nowhere…. My “career” or experience as a race car driver started when I was 9 years old. I started my interest on a drag racing trip at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana. My favorite race track of all! As a younger sister, I always thought that my older sister would take a liking for the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) and then I could follow her foot steps. I soon learned that she was the furthest thing from interested. She actually dreaded going to the racetrack.

Anxious and on edge, I remember tapping my dad on the shoulder to tell him that I wanted to race Jr. Dragsters. Jr. Dragsters are a half scale version of rail cars(full sized dragsters). Below is a comparison of a Jr. dragster that you can start racing at age 8, to a full size dragster that professionals race. (Top picture: my friend Derrick Beach’s dragster/ Bottom picture: me in the winner circle at age 13 with my JR dragster)

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So, I started racing when I was 9 years old, and I actually became pretty good at it. Winning over 25 races from age 9-15( & 364 days :), I could honestly say that I was in love with the sport. Fast forward to three days after my 16th birthday…. This is what I found myself in as my goal was to receive the highest license possible at a 16 year old. I went 180 mph in 7.70 seconds elapse time. TALK ABOUT A RUSH!!! (This is a full sized dragster I was asked to use from a friend to get their car to top speed)

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I now drag race my fathers Pontiac, but I have been halted from traveling every weekend because of college and dancing my first and second year in college. I am going back to Indy this next weekend to be the crew chief for my father and root him on like old times. I’m very excited to get back on track and be at my favorite place of all. The Drag Strip!!

My favorite drag racer. John Force Funny Car Champion:

Thanks for reading,
Jennifer Jo

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