This week’s DragChamp Jr. Racer Spotlight is all about Washington Junior Dragster competitor, Raylee Higgins.
OLYMPIA, WA- Raylee Higgins AKA Bug is a 14-year-old Junior Dragster driver who has been racing for the past seven years. Her Dad, Jason introduced her to the sport by taking Raylee and her sister to the Seattle Nationals every year. At the race, Raylee enjoyed watching the Junior Dragsters and told her Dad that she wanted to give it a shot.
Fast forward to today and she is running the Lightning Class which consists of 13-14 year old drivers. Her home track is Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington where Raylee is a 3-time Track Champion and the 2020 D6 Land of Leaders Champion. She earned her NHRA license when she was 6 years-old at her home track as well.
Be sure to follow Raylee’s racing Facebook page, Higgins Racing.
About her Dragster- Killer Kitty III
The current car, the Killer Kitty III is the third Junior Dragster that her Dad has put together for her. The chassis is built by Halfscale and it has a 7.90 Huddleston Sniper Ultimate onboard powering her car to 85 MPH. They have been using Huddleston Performance to build her engines for the past four years.
She won her very first Wally in Spokane, WA and since then have won a Wally at every track she has raced at. Raylee now has 13 Wallys in her possession with one of them being the Division 6 Land of Leaders Championship. She also won the Washington State Championship Wally at Bremerton Raceway in 2020.
Outside of Racing
When Raylee isn’t at the racetrack, she is a 9th grade student who takes her schooling very seriously- she is a straight A student! During the off-season, she also enjoys dancing on the weekends since racing in Washington is not feasible in the winter months. She has been a competition dancer since she was two years-old.
Her favorite food is her Dad’s spaghetti or short ribs. She also likes burger, Italian, and Mexican restaurants. She loves country music and Hip Hop since that is what she usually dances to. Jason Aldean is her favorite Artist.
What’s on your bucket list, future goals, what do you hope to achieve?
My bucket list is to race the Eastern Conference Finals and win the race of champions at ET Finals. My goal is to run a big dragster at the age of 16 years old and continue to drive my Jr Dragster till I’m 18 to where I age out of the Jr ranks. I would like to reach the point driving a Top Alcohol dragster and wish to drive a Top fuel dragster and any of the pro classes.
What is your favorite race car, and why?
My favorite race car is the dragsters cause they are the fastest drag race cars. My favorite driver is Erica Enders who drives the Elite Motorsports Pro Stock car and Steve Torrence as he drives the Capco Construction Top Fuel Dragster.
Who has made the biggest impact on your racing success?
My Dad, friends and family have been my biggest impact in driving my Jr Dragster. I have several fans and enjoy drag racing.
Who do you look up to in the sport?
I look up to the older kids driving Jrs and friends that drive big races that help me improve each and every race.
How do you support your racing, side hustle, sponsor, partner, etc.?
My Dad is my biggest sponsor and I would like to thank Lucas Oil Products for helping and sponsoring my Jr Dragster for the last 5 years and going on. My racing family and friends, White Heating and Air for helping us with sponsorship and believing in me.
Who do you hate to see in the other lane, and why?
I hate to see my close friends in the other lanes next to me. But when it comes to racing on the track we are all in it to win.
What’s the hardest part of drag racing?
The hardest part of drag racing is being able to get good lights. Focusing on the tree and knowing how to drive the top end of the track. Sometimes you have to lift or get on the brakes so you don’t break out and run faster then the number you dialed on the car.
What’s your most embarrassing moment in a race car?
I really don’t have any embarrassing stories in my Jr except when I go RED on the tree. But if your not always pushing the tree you won’t get good at reaction times.
What are you saying to yourself just before you stage the car?
Before I stage my Jr Dragster I say to myself, “ready set go!” That’s know when I hit the throttle pedal and hold on tight.
What do you enjoy the most at the racetrack?
I enjoy going to different race track to meet different people, but enjoy hanging out with all my friends.
Do you love to win or hate to lose?
I love to win each and every round and win the races that we enter. But there are times that you can’t win them all but if you believe you can and you will. I always give it my best.
Which are you better at the starting line or the finish line?
I am pretty good at both the starting line and finish line. When I get into the cock pit of my dragster, I focus on when to leave on the tree and try not to worry about who or what is in the other lane.
What motivates you to continue racing?
The things that motivates me into drag racing is my Dad who gives it all he has and then some. My friends and family who believe in me and my fans that follow me on my social media accounts.
If money were no object, what would your racing operation look like? Car, trailer, class, race schedule, etc.
If money wasn’t an option for my racing we would race just about every weekend and travel from state to state to compete. We have a nice motor coach and trailer but it would be cool to have a Pro hauler that’s for sure. I would have more than 1 car so I could compete in different classes and if something was to go wrong we would just pull the back up car out.
How often do you use a practice tree?
I don’t use the practice tree as much as I should. But when I do use it, I make sure I’m in my dragster like it’s real time.
What is your daily driver?
I don’t have a daily driver at this time as I’m just 14 but I plan on having an Audi or such as my first car.
Would you rather hang out with a crowd or have a quiet evening at home?
I love to hang out in crowds and have fun, but sometimes I also like to just sit at home and relax and watch tv or play with my phone.
Who would you like to thank, who helps you the most?
I would like to thank my Dad for all that he does and the things he will do to get us to a race or down the track either it’s me or another fellow racer. I would like to thank Lucas oil products for supporting me for last 4 years and continued support in 2022. Thank you to all my friends and family and everyone else who has helped in the years I have been racing. The White family for helping out with sponsorship in 2022 and all my fans! Thank you. I couldn’t do it with out all of you and mostly my Daddy. Chicks on Slicks for supporting me and sending me winners stickers ever race we win. I collect them and I put my first one on my helmet.
What is a piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring racer?
My best piece of advice for fellow racers and kids thinking about getting into it is that it’s a lot of fun! You meet great people along the way. The Jr Dragsters are well built more than one way to turn the car off if needed. Once you get into the cock pit of a dragster most kids don’t want to get out, they want to go faster and faster. Like I do. But my time will come before you know it. The Jr Dragsters are safe and easy to drive. You’re well protected and you can stop or shut it off at anytime and there will be someone to come help you in need. The noise you don’t always hear cause of your helmet and the engines are in the back. I encourage any and every kid to give it at least a try. Once you go down the track you won’t want to get out.
For more DragChamp Jr. Spotlights, click here.