Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Alexis Whitaker | What Happens After Juniors?

Tennessee based racer, Alexis Whitaker caught up with DragChamp to explain what its like to transition from Junior Dragsters into the world of big cars.

Junior Dragsters are the first step for many kids in the sportsman drag racing world. The program allows these kids to grow a love for the sport and eventually transition into a full- size door car or dragster. Alexis Whitaker is an 18-year-old drag racer from Telford, Tennessee who has recently aged-out of her Junior Dragster. Now with her Junior Dragster sold, what will we see Alexis driving next?

About Alexis

Alexis Whitaker has been racing for the past eight years after being introduced to the sport by her dad and uncle. She has primarily raced her Junior Dragster over the years but this past year she has stepped into a big car. She is planning on running Super Pro and Super Street. Her home track is Bristol Dragway but, they do a lot of traveling.

When Alexis isn’t at the track, she can be found cracking the books at East Tennessee State University. She is currently pre-med and will be declaring a major soon. She is a second semester freshman now and would like to continue on to med school and become a surgeon or a pediatrician.

Tell us About your Race Car

She currently has a ’65 Chevy II Nova with a 434 cubic inch motor that their family has had for the past 6 years. She is also building a Mike Bos dragster that will be ready to go soon.

Motivation to Keep Racing

Alexis’s parents keep her motivated to keep racing. She would also like to stress the importance of showing people that there are other ways of racing than doing it on the street. Tragically, her neighbor was killed by two men racing on the street and that has always pushed her to continue racing.

What did you get out of Juniors?

She says the most rewarding part about racing Junior Dragsters was meeting new people at every race and growing up with some of her closest friends. The friendships you make during your time in Juniors are ones that will last forever. The most important skill that she learned while racing
Juniors was to never give up no matter how hard things get. None of us are perfect and we all screw up. It is all about picking yourself back up and fixing it the next time.

Junior Dragster Memories

Alexis’s favorite memory from her time in Junior Dragsters would have to be the night that she won $5K. She said, “The amount of support I had that I never would have thought I had. Those people made my win that night even more special”.

Juniors vs. Big Car

According to Alexis, the competition in the Junior Dragster ranks is tough but, it is a whole different ball game when it comes to big cars. Something to remember is that many of the best racers come straight out of Junior Dragsters so, it sets you up to be successful while racing some of the best. But needless to say, Alexis is ready to get her feet wet and take on the competition.

Advice to Others

A message that she would like to say to someone just starting their Junior Dragster career would be, “Enjoy it and don’t take it for granted. Have fun and don’t be hard on yourself!”

Future Goals

Alexis hopes to be racing Top Dragster one day because of how competitive the class is. She would also like to win a track championship at Bristol but more specifically the NHRA Division 2 points championship.

Giving Thanks

Alexis would like to first thank Mike Bos for all that they have done for her family and herself. Stacy Hall for going above and beyond with their motors and helping her dad. Also, Fred Craw for the best Junior motors and Tony Banks for always giving them amazing paint jobs. Her parents for going above and beyond for her and making sure she can stay in this sport even after her career is over in Junior Dragsters. But most importantly God, if it wasn’t for him she says she would not have been blessed with this stuff.

Racing Accomplishments

  • 2019 $5K Huddleston Performance Shootout Winner
  • Two-time second place points in National Open for Division 2, 2018 and 2019. 
  • Runner-up in 2016 $100,000 race
  • Back to School $1K Race Winner.
  • Makinna Smith Memorial Race Winner
  • Runner-up in 2019 Division 2 bracket finals.
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Payton Cusimano

About the Author: Payton Pillinger is a 23-year-old bracket racer living in Nashville, TN. She races a S10 truck in Pro at local tracks around her home. She graduated from the University of Tampa with her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and Advertising in 2020. Payton is also the owner and creator of the female motorsports association, Chicks on Slicks.

You can reach Payton on Facebook at @chicksonslicks or email at payton@dragchamp.com.

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