Upon first glance, you wouldn’t expect Kristen Kiger of Navarre, OH to be a championship winning bad-ass NHRA drag racer, but in the 19 years she has been competing she has proven herself as one of this sport’s up and coming superstars.
Highlights of her racing career include:
1997: 2nd place at Junior World Nationals
1998: 2nd place in points at Norwalk Raceway Park
1999: 1st place at Division 3 Mike Boss Junior Nationals
2000: 2nd place at Drag News Magazine All-Star Shootout
2000: 1st place at Brandi Browder Memorial Race
2000: 2nd at Thompson Dragway Junior Jam
2001: 1st place at J&J Performance Junior Challenge
2003: Dragway 42 Super Pro Junior Class Champion
2005: Norwalk Raceway Park Senior Division Class Champion
2013: Dragway of Magnolia Box Champion
2013: Best Appearing Nominee for Summit Motorsports Park
2015: Super Pro Win at Summit Motorsports Park
2016: Last female left in competition at 14 cars out of 550+ entries at KB Trailers Ten Grand Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park
Kristen is the first Racechick.com brand ambassador and I wanted to get to know and share more about her life behind the wheel!
How long have you been competitively driving? How and why did you get started?
I have been competing for 20 years now. I began when I was 8 years old in a PSP Junior Dragster. My father, Don, has always been into cars & we would travel all over the US attending the Goodguys Car Shows. When I was 6, we were in Louisville Ky at a show and they had a Junior Dragster. They were displaying them to try to get the word out about the sport. My dad asked the fellow a few questions about them & asked if I wanted one. Of course being the little grease monkey I was, I said YES! Dad said he would get me one when I was old enough, which was 8 years old at the time. My 8th birthday came around, Dad of course thought I would forget, well I didn’t. I asked him where my dragster was & next week I came home from school & there it was in the garage. 20 years later, we are still racing together.
Do you remember your first event? What was it and how did you do?
My first event was at Norwalk Raceway Park in Norwalk Ohio in 1997. I don’t remember much but still have pictures from it.
What different series have you competed in? Do you have any favorites?
I have competed in NHRA & IHRA events. Classes I have competed in over the years: Junior Dragster, Sportsman, Super Pro, Super Comp, Super Gas, Hot Rod, Super Street & Top Dragster. My favorite is the Super Classes: Super Street, Super Gas, Super Comp. This is class index racing & its with a pro tree which is always fun. I have done extremely well in these classes over the last few years. Last season I had in the same weekend at Keystone Raceway at the IHRA Pro Am event in Hot Rod a Semi Final finish on Saturday & then another Semi on Sunday.
What has your experience been like being a woman in this male dominated sport?
Of course, some people look at me as an easy target, but they soon find out, I am just as competitive as the guys. I think over the years, the guys I race with know when they pull up beside me it’s not going to be an easy race win. Woman are taking more interest in drag racing not only as competitors but also as fans. It’s great to see the sport growing in numbers on and off the track.
What other hobbies are you involved in?
Drag racing is the only racing sport I am involved in. My other hobbies are hunting, shooting, riding four wheelers, and going on rides on my Kawasaki Ninja. I just enjoy being outdoors.
What events do you want to do in the future that you haven’t done before?
I want to compete for a National Championship in NHRA. Takes a lot of money & a lot of traveling to accomplish. I also would like to compete in NHRA Top Dragster & Top Alcohol classes. I have wanted to go fast ever since I started racing. I just need 1 team to give me a chance to show my skills & dedication.
Have you always driven the same car? If not what other makes and models have you driven?
I have driven a Jr Dragster, 1991 Camaro z28 in sportsman, 2007 Takash Race Craft Dragster in Super Pro, Super Comp & Top Dragster and now I compete in a 1967 Chevy II. This car can be driven on the street with a tire change. I love it!
Anything special you would like to say to women that read this and either currently compete or are thinking about it?
I would just say don’t give up on your dream. Women should feel just as competitive or able to win as the men. Don’t allow opinions to get you down or think you’re not capable of being on the top. Women have come a long way in male dominator sports & we need to continue that growth for future generations to come.
Are there any sponsors or others you would like to acknowledge for their assistance in getting your driving to what it is today?
I have a great group of sponsors that have helped me with my racing over the years. They definitely have allowed me to race as much as I have.
Mickey Thompson Tires
Bazell Race Fuels
Miller Weldmaster Corp
Biondo Racing Products
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Anyone who wants to follow my journey can go to my website kristenkigerracing.angelfire.com, add me on Instagram (kkiger123) Twitter (racergirl0127) or even email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please stop by my pits at the track and get yourself a tshirt, an autograph or a photo. I also have info from sponsors on their products and also on the JEGS Foundation which helps those battling cancer which is very near and dear to me.