My Journey to Becoming a Junior Dragster Driver
Hey BracketLifer’s – it’s Rachel here! I’m back this week and excited to be writing this blog post for you! TEN years ago today, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my sister and dad (holding a piece of paper with a drawing of a race track and starting line) learning how to drag race. See, here’s the thing – I had been asking to race for what seemed like EVER – and I was finally going to be able too! My dad had just bought my sister and I our own junior dragsters before Christmas – and our journey to becoming junior dragster drivers was about to begin.
So, let’s go all the way back to the beginning. When I was around 8 or 9 years old, I started travelling down South to some of the IHRA races my dad was racing at. I don’t know if it was the long drives in the racing hauler eating chips, missing school to go with dad or the actual racing itself, but I loved it! I always begged my mom to let me miss school so I could go!
One weekend in 2007 (don’t ask how I remember the year), I was at the race track with our entire family, and I saw a junior dragster for the first time! But not just any junior dragster – a junior dragster that was FOR SALE! The owner of the car, obviously knew what he was doing, and when he saw me all excited about the ‘kids’ car, he let me jump right in the seat and see it for myself. If you ask my dad – this was the exact moment he knew he was doomed!!
After that moment, I did what every 9-year-old kid would do, I begged and begged and BEGGED my dad to buy me that car. Luckily, the owner of the junior took a photo of me sitting in the car, and I had that sucker FRAMED in my room on my dresser. Every night when dad came to tuck me into bed, that photo was there to haunt him!
Now, my dad wasn’t an easy man to convince! It took me 4 years to convince him that I actually wanted to drag race, and that I wouldn’t quit or get bored after the first couple of weekends. When he finally caved and bought a junior dragster in 2011, he told my sister and I that we could share the car. My sister would race one weekend, and I would race the other weekend. Well … he quickly realized that wasn’t going to work, and before the season had even started he found himself buying a second junior dragster!
Every morning before school, my mom would drive us to the end of our road to catch the bus. But on one particular morning, right after dad bought the second junior dragster, my dad drove us to the bus stop! I remember so vividly, that my sister and I were bombarding my dad with every question in the book about racing. We had talked about how we were going to start racing at local race tracks in Canada, and that he may even take some time away from driving so he could focus on us racing and learning the sport! Luckily, my sister and I made sure that never happened! My dad raced every weekend that we did, and we absorbed everything he could teach us.
If you ask my parents if they have any regrets about buying my sister and I junior dragsters, they’d say that they regret not buying them sooner (seriously!). Racing has been the best thing that has ever happened to our family. It has brought us so much closer together, and we cherish every weekend spent at the track!
How old were you when you started racing? Did you start your drag racing career in juniors? Share your story below.
Catch you next-next week,