From a Maverick to a Funny Car
Sue Christophersen, out of Clarkston, MI, retired from General Motors and has held many jobs in the automotive field, including Technical Trainer, Regional Service/Sales Manager, and Motorsports Marketing. Sue is currently self employed and promoting healthy living as a Sales Coordinator with Juice Plus+.
“When I’m not racing, my next best place to be is outside, working and enjoying my gardens. I also love to Scuba Dive and we try to take a trip to Bonaire, our favorite spot in the Caribbean, once a year,” says Sue.
In the early 80’s, Sue got involved with cars when she bought a 1972 Maverick from a neighbor for a mere $300. It needed a lot of work, but she needed transportation and since she couldn’t afford to pay someone to fix it, Sue took classes at the Community College and learned to fix it herself. Ultimately, Sue ended up with a degree in technical service and a very rewarding career with General Motors.
It was in 1993 that she got bit by the racing bug. Sue and her Husband were part of a team that raced an ’82 Camaro with a small block and a 4 speed trans. Everyone on the team got the opportunity to run the car and all of them set records of over 200 mhp. In 1998, Sue raced the Camaro in D/PRODUCTION and set the record up to 214.986 mph. This made her the sixth woman in the first 50 years of Bonneville to earn membership into the 200 MPH Club.
Among some of Sue Christophersen’s achievements are, she finished top 5 in points for multiple years bracket racing at her home track, Milan Dragway in Milan Michigan. She set the land speed record and became a member of the Bonneville 200 MPH club in 1998. WOW! Way to go girl!! Last season, Sue finished top 10 in points racing with the NDRL (Nostalgia Drag Racing League) and was the only female in her class! That’s what we like to call racing like a girl and beating the boys!
“I’ve always wanted to do something extraordinary. I love the challenge of mastering the skills to be a great driver and I love the exhilaration when I drive the car down the track and everything goes right.,” explains Sue.
Sue says her biggest challenges in reaching her goals are the 7.0 class she is running in, everyone is running within thousandths of each other and the competition is tough. The funny car makes it especially challenging because of such limited visibility.
During the off season, Sue gets everything torn down and freshened up for the new season. She is very grateful for her supporters that help make this happen — especially her sponsors: Uncle Earl’s Hand Healing Soap, Diamond Pistons and Juice Plus+.
Anyone can do this, and do it well, if it’s something you have a passion for. It’s one sport that being a woman or a man makes no difference. To succeed, though, you have to be willing to learn from your mistakes and learn from others. Racing can be exhilarating and liberating. It can also, be devastating at times. It’s a roller coaster, so be prepared. Maybe the most difficult challenge for someone wanting to get into this is the cost to build and maintaining the race car. Whether it’s your own, or you’re driving someone else’s, a race car requires lots of resources; not just financial, but also time and technical expertise. It’s gotta be something you really want to do.
We couldn’t agree more! You can do anything you set your mind to, you just have to go out there and give it your all. Best wishes to Sue Christophersen and team as they prepare for 2018!
I have been involved in the drag racing community for most of my life. My childhood was spent in the garage with my dad building cars. Today, I am married and still continue to work on cars with my husband.