This week’s DragChamp Jr. Racer Spotlight is all about 2020 PDRA Top Jr. Dragster Champion, Alyssa Rabon.
FLORENCE, SC- Alyssa Rabon has been racing her Junior Dragster for the past 5 years. Her whole family has raced at one time or another, so you could say that racing runs in her blood. Alyssa’s Dad and Grandad use to race, until her brother, Nicholas and herself came along. Nicholas aged out of Junior Dragsters in 2017 and has since moved on the wheeling a Top Sportsman car in NHRA Division 2.
Learn more about Alyssa through her family’s Facebook page, Buddy Rabon Racing.
Alyssa currently races the Top Jr. Dragster class in the PDRA, 10-12 year-old class in NHRA Divison 2 and at Rockingham Dragway. At her home track, Darlington Dragway, she competes in the 12-18 year-old Junior Dragster class. She started racing as soon as turned seven years old. Her first championship was the 6-9 year-old Track Champion at Rockingham Dragway in 2017. That same year, she was the runner-up in the NHRA Division 2 Bracket Finals Race of Champions and since then she has earned five more championships. She has won seven Wallys, four 660 Men, and one Iron Man Trophy.
Her future goals include, winning more championships, winning the PDRA Pro Jr. Dragster Championship, winning her age group at the NHRA Eastern Conference Finals, and one day move up into a big car.
About her Race Car
Her current car is a 2010 Halfscale that she has had for 3 years now. Her engine is a Bob Denikar 8.90 race engine that is capable of running faster than the restricted 8.90 index. Before this car, she had a 2000 Mike Bos Junior Dragster with a L206 engine on it that ran 11.90’s.
Outside of Racing
When she isn’t behind the wheel of her Junior Dragster, Alyssa is a Straight-A 8th Grade student who loves to hang out with her family and friends. She also enjoys drawing, reading, and spending time watching videos on YouTube. Her favorite movie is Right on Track and she likes all kinds of music, just depends what mood she is in. To help pay for her racing, she saves her winnings and gets paid to help clean her grandmother’s house.
- 2017 6-9 yr old Rockingham track Champion,
- NHRA race of champions runner up 2017
- NHRA Div.2 6-9 year old runner-up
- 2018 won the Jr Dragsters Racing 4 A Cause Event
- 2019 Darlington Dragways Jr Dragster Track Champion
- 2019 Drag Racers Association of Florence Jr Dragster Champion
- 2019 10-12 yr old Rockingham Track Champion
- 2020 PDRA Top Jr Dragster World Champion
- She has 7 wallies, 4 660 men and 1 Ironman
What is your favorite race car and why?
Well I am partial to the Pink Bullet and my brothers 2008 Pontiac GTO.
Who has made the biggest impact on your success?
My parents, my grandad and my sponsors.
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Who do you look up to in the sport?
I look up to my brother and Erica and Courtney Enders (they both take the time to talk with me and Courtney even helped me stage my car at the 4 wide nationals)
How do you support your racing, side hustle, sponsor, partner, etc.?
My racing is supported by my parents and my sponsors. Without them we would not be able to travel like we do.
Who do you hate to see in the other lane and why?
It never really bothers me who is in the other lane, I always tell myself it is just another race…Race Your Race
What’s your most embarrassing moment in a race car?
When I was at ECF and my car stumbled off the line when I hit the gas and I had a .900 light. My opponent won the round but was DQ’d so I advanced to the next round.
What are you saying to yourself just before you stage the car?
I always tell myself to just stay focused, you can do this.
What do you enjoy the most at the racetrack?
I enjoy hanging out with my friends, & the opportunity to always get to meet new people.
Are you superstitious? If so, what are they?
I am a little superstitious. My team/crew has a routine and I like to stick to that routine.
Do you love to win or hate to lose?
I love to win. I consider a lose as just another lesson and try to learn from it.
Which are you better at the starting line or the finish line?
I feel like I am good at both the starting and finish line, just maybe a little better at the starting line.
What motivates you to continue racing?
I just truly love the sport and want to keep at it and learn all I can so I can be the best.
If money were no object, what would your racing operation look like? car, trailer, class, rac schedule, etc.?
If money were no object I would still keep my car but I am sure my mom and dad would appreciate an upgrade on our motorhome, so I would get them a NEW tri axle 600 HP diesel pusher (of their choice)
How often do you use a practice tree?
I usually practice 4-5 times a week, just a few minutes each day.
What is your daily driver?
Well since I am only 12 years old right now it is a Honda CRF 80 dirt bike.
Name one thing most people don’t know about you?
Most people don’t know that I skipped the 1st grade. After 6 weeks of being in the class, my teacher told my mom that I was teaching the class and she thought I needed to move up to 2nd grade. My teacher had me tested and I was promoted to the 2nd grade where now I am the youngest student in the class.
Would you rather hang out with a crowd or have a quiet evening at home?
I like the small crowds better, so I would like to just have a few close friends over and hang out at home.
What’s your favorite thing to eat? Individual item, meal, or restaurant?
My most favorite place to eat is Texas Roadhouse. Everytime we travel to a new state I try to get my parents to take me to Texas Roadhouse and add it to my list.
Who would you like to thank, who helps you the most?
I would like to Thank my parents, grandparents, sponsors, and friends that encourage me to do my best.
What is a piece of advice that you’d give to an aspiring racer?
I would tell them.. You will get nervous and there will be trials but Don’t Give Up and Never Stop Believing