CAYUGA, ON – Drag racing is one of the few forms of motorsport that embraces female competitors, and that is certainly the case with the Quick 32 Sportsman Series presented by NAPA Auto Parts. Three of the top drivers in the drag race series are experienced women racers who take a back seat to no-one when they come up to the starting line. Melanie Simmons, Katie Ward, and Sydnie Hyde are all strong racers in the series, and all three have increased their efforts since the series began four seasons ago.
Simmons, from Orillia, ON, drives the Toyrific Racing Top Dragster. With a number one qualifier and quarter-final finish at the IHRA National Event at the Grand Bend Motorplex recently, she is able to blast down the quarter-mile in the mid six-second range at over 200 mph.
Ward has stepped into a faster car this season. The Orangeville, ON racer, a driver for the Hinbest Racing team, started in the Quick 32 Sportsman Series with a normally-aspirated Top Dragster, but for 2012 she is co-driving the team’s other car, a supercharged Top Dragster, with Michael Hinbest. This car is one of the quickest in the series, and Ward has recorded runs in the mid-six second range at over 205 mph.
Now in her second year of Quick 32 Sportsman Series racing, Hyde drives the Hyde Racing Top Dragster, a new car for her this year, with a huge 740-cubic inch engine, and the Stratford, ON racer has run the quarter-mile in the high-six second bracket at almost 200 mph.
Melanie and Sydnie started their racing in Junior Dragsters, and progressed into the faster cars. Katie started racing in 2010 in an eight-second Quick 32 Sportsman Series Top Dragster.
And all three women are dedicated ambassadors of the sport, taking part in off-track promotions, media interviews, and autograph sessions.
Not to be outdone, the Pro Bike & Sled Series, a companion race series with the Quick 32 Sportsman Series, has had women compete with their Pro Bike entries at events.
Melanie, Katie, and Sydnie will all be part of the South Coast Community Weekend on the Cayuga Dragway of Toronto Motorsports Park on August 3-5. This is the fourth event for the 2012 season. The PBSS will also compete this weekend, as well as the other companion series, the Pro Modified Racing Association, offering a colorful and diverse package of drag racing excitement.
From Tim Miller / Media Director