Drag Racing, Dreams & Family
There is something to be said about Drag Racing, dreams & family. Whether you see each other on a regular basis, or every once in a while, the people within the sport are so welcoming and leave a lasting impression on many. During a chance encounter a drag race in Pennsylvania, Sarah Edwards — the former Queen of Diamonds II Jet Dragster pilot — was able to meet two young girls at the Keystone Raceway Park’s annual Night of Fire. Through this encounter, it has led the young girls on their own journey of drag racing. Today, the young girls, Isla and Adrie have their own Junior drag racing operation called Nitro Dawgs. Just recently, a Facebook post from the Nitro Dawgs caught Edwards’ eye.
“Three years ago, a family rekindled their love affair with speed at KRP’s Funny Car Nationals!,” the Facebook post said. “We took our girls on a whim not knowing anything about Junior Dragsters! They loved the colors and the cars and it sparked their interest! When we came back in August to Night of Fire and saw Sarah in the QOD II jet dragster, Isla had her mind made up!!!! She came up with the team name, dad bought the first car, and the rest is history!”
When Edwards was a young girl, she was in that same situation. Her parents took her to the Night of Thrills at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey and she fell in love with the Queen of Diamonds Jet Dragster.
Years later, Edwards was able to realize her dreams of piloting the one vehicle she fell in love with when she became the fifth Queen of Diamonds pilot for Hanna Motorsports.
“It’s remarkable to look back now and reflect on something that seemed bigger than life at the time,” Edwards said. “I had a dream, I pursued it and accomplished it. Who in their wildest imagination truly gets to become what they saw when they were a young girl? Everyday, it blows my mind and keeps me humble. I lived my dream. I am still living out my dreams.
“Being able to give back in a way that you don’t even see until a note comes your way will find a way to stop you in your tracks, slow you down and allow you to take in how you can inspire people, of any age.”
As the years went on, Edwards has signed the wing of Isla and Adrie’s Jr. Dragster and the following year, their dragster body. She said that these girls have brought some of the best memories to her, more than they will ever know.
“With great excitement I did just that,” she said. “It still may be unclear who was more excited at that point in time, the girls to have a professional female driver sign their new Jr Dragster wing or myself, who couldn’t believe these two little girls really wanted me to write on their brand new junior. Fast forward 365 days and that brings us right back to Keystone Raceway Park; Same weekend, same event, same two little girls waiting for the Queen of Diamonds to roll in. It’s incredible”
As Edwards reflects on a drag racing journey of her own, it is moments like these that made her whole. Isla & Adrie’s journey has been similar to the one Edwards and her family experienced, bringing it full circle for the former Queen of Diamonds II pilot.
“Our team and Sarah Edwards Racing have forged an amazing racing friendship,” Stacey Smith said, the soon-to-be step-mother of Isla and Adrie. “We exchange Christmas cards, tee shirts, love and support! Sarah has been an amazing female role model to our daughters in the motorsport industry. Pretty, smart, young women can do anything they set their minds to! Who knew 3 years ago that Sarah and the QOD would have ignited a passion for .000 lights and Winner’s Circle photos for Isla, Adrie, and our entire family! Isla is in her third season and racing for points at KRP and Dragway 42 in West Salem, OH. Adrie just got licensed this year and has had one runner up win to her sister at Dragway 42 in her first season.”
“Our oldest CJ sings the National Anthem and takes her love of photography to capturing memories for the team! And most importantly our team has grown as a family! This adventure has been an amazing growing, learning, and bonding experience with many life lessons learned along the way! Nitro Dawg Racing is extremely blessed to have been inspired and continue to be inspired by and call Sarah Edwards a friend and fellow racer! We are excited to see where all of our journeys take us!”
Story submitted by: Sarah Edwards Racing // IG: @sarahedwardsracing // T: @sedwardsracing