WOMEN OF NHRA HEADLINE SEMA SHOW'S POPULAR NHRA BREAKFAST Five of NHRA's most compelling and successful female drivers were the featured guests this morning at the popular NHRA Breakfast, which has become an annual tradition at the SEMA Show in...
WOMEN OF NHRA HEADLINE SEMA SHOW'S POPULAR NHRA BREAKFAST
Five of NHRA's most compelling and successful female drivers were the featured guests this morning at the popular NHRA Breakfast, which has become an annual tradition at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
Hillary Will (Top Fuel); Melanie Troxel (Funny Car); Ashley Force (Funny Car); Karen Stoffer (Pro Stock Motorcycle) and Peggy Llewellyn (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were engaging and entertaining as they answered questions from host Bob Frey as well as from members of the record crowd who gathered for the 7:30 a.m. wake-up call.
All five racers talked about a wide range of topics, from how they got their start in the sport to what type of car they drive away from the racetrack.
Below is a quick review of some of the highlights of questions asked by members of the audience during the Q&A session:
Q: Who is someone that you look up to in the world of racing?
Stoffer: "Like all of us, one of the people I really look up to is Shirley Muldowney. If she hadn't been out there doing what she did we wouldn't be sitting here right now. Because of what she accomplished and went through it was much easier for all of us to have a career in this great sport."
Q: What is your favorite and least favorite track?
Force: "I love Pomona just because that is home for me. It's always the first race of the season where you get to see everyone after the off-season and it's also the final race of the season where there's excitement about the championships. For a least favorite track, I really don't have one that I don't like specifically. It's mostly just based on weather conditions. I know that all of the gals up here can relate to this, but I don't like the tracks that have weather that gives you a bad hair day. That's just a really tough thing. It's hard to get all that frizzy hair stuffed into a helmet."
Q: Who is the better driver, you or your husband, Tommy Johnson Jr.?
Troxel: "When we're at home we've decided it's best to let him do all the driving. He's not a very good backseat driver. We always have our arguments about who's the best driver on the track and obviously that's me (laughing). He was concerned when I made the move to Funny Car, but here we are with only one race to go in the season and we still haven't raced each other in eliminations. Since we're both highly competitive people, that's probably a good thing."
Q: What kind of car do you drive at home?
Llewellyn: "I drive a Nissan Maxima every day, which works well for me. However, my niece has really been on me about getting a Cadillac Escalade with the really cool rims and some major bling on it."
Q: Once you are done with your driving career, what are your plans?
Will: "I love the sport and I think it's going to keep growing and getting bigger. I would hate to have to think about what I'd be doing if I couldn't come to the track every weekend and race my dragster. I love NHRA and so does my family, so I am sure I would continue to be involved in the sport in some fashion once my driving career is over, whether it's working for the NHRA, ESPN or a race team. I would be out there for sure because I love it that much."
Q: Why are you breathing so hard at the end of the track following a race ?
Troxel: "It's a sport that's all about adrenaline and that's why I love it. We've put heart rate monitors on some drivers during runs and it's wild to watch the heart rate go from about 80 at rest up to as high as 160 from driving the car. That's really amazing, but it's all about that adrenaline rush."