Dawn Minturn preview

Gainesville Gatornationals

Minturn gives the term "Fiery Red Head" a completely new meaning NHRA Rookie takes testing experience to the track at Gatornationals

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 10, 2011) - Just one meeting with 33-year-old rookie Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Dawn Minturn you'll see she is a ball of fire, from her driven personality all the way up to her flaming-red locks that earned her the name "Red Dawn." She says she is OK with that because she has always loved the persona of the fiery red head. What she wasn't prepared for was what happened during pre-race testing as she prepared to compete this weekend in the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals, the first event of the NHRA's Pro Stock Motorcycle 16-race season.

I'm familiar with the way things work and where things are

Dawn Mintum

While taking a test lap, she felt a burning sensation on her right foot - something that was not normal. She tried to look at her foot and maintain control of the 180-mile per hour motorcycle as it blasted down the quarter-mile. Throwing caution to the wind, she kept her foot off the peg and completed the run, bringing the bike to a safe stop in the shutdown area. That's when the burning reality set in.

"I looked down and saw my big toe, and I know there was something very wrong. I had on my full leather safety suit and boots, and I knew I didn't drag my foot, but now I had searing pain down there and my whole toe was exposed and flaming red," Minturn explained.

Putting the pieces together after the run, Minturn and her crew determined that the new shorter exhaust pipe that had been installed blew directly onto where her toes were on the back pegs, putting the front of her boots in direct line with burning exhaust.

"Definitely not what was planned, and man, did that hurt," she said.

Minturn was examined and released, cleared to race this weekend and ready to get back on the bike and make more runs - after the pipes were changed.

Starting her rookie season in NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle, the Ohio resident is thrilled to enter the renowned Gatornationals, calling it a dream come true. Having attended the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School, she has ridden down the track before, giving her confidence heading into the "big show."

"Going through Frank's school in 2006 at this Gainesville Raceway gives me a sense of ease heading into the week. I'm familiar with the way things work and where things are, and not having to worry about those things lets me focus more on doing my job," she said.

"Of course, without the help of Avitae Caffeinated Water and Bully Dog Performance, I wouldn't be able to be here, so I have to thank them for their support. They offer great products, and I'm proud to be associated with them.

"Now, the job is to represent them well this weekend, which is exactly what I plan to do. My big toe has a really nice blister on it, but the pain is just a reminder to keep focused on doing my best," Minturn said.

Qualifying sessions are scheduled for noon and 2:45 p.m. on Friday, March 11 and 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 12. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 13.

-source: dawn minturn PR

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Frank Hawley
Tags motorsport. gatornationals, nhra, pro stock