This week’s DragChamp Racer Spotlight is all about New Jersey native, Taylor Iacono. We talk about racing with her family, attending college, and her future goals.
SHAMONG, NJ – With 14 years of driving experience at only 22 years old, it’s easy to see that Taylor Iacono grew up with drag racing. She is a third-generation racer and explains that most race weekends are more like family reunions since they currently have eight drivers in their bloodline.
Both Taylor’s paternal and maternal grandfathers competed in the sport and her mother and father even met at the racetrack. Iacono’s maternal aunts are all invested in racing whether they are in the roll cage or by helping their children.
Having the whole family around is one of Taylor’s favorite aspects of racing. “I am the luckiest girl in the world to do what I love with my family by my side the entire time,” she said.
Racing Background and Success
Iacono began in the Junior Drag Racing League and raced for ten years before moving into Super Street at eighteen years old. Two years ago, she borrowed a car from her aunt and uncle, Jackie and Shawn Fricke, to earn her Super Comp license.
This season she will be competing in Super Street with her 1999 Chevy S-10 and Super Comp in a newly acquired dragster. Taylor travels through the Northeastern US to compete in the NHRA Division 1 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
Taylor Iacono’s Racing Accomplishments:
- 10 junior dragster career wins
- 2017 NHRA Division 1 Wally winner at Cecil County Dragway
- 2017 NHRA Division 1 Image of Youth Award winner
- 2019 NHRA .90 Association race winner at Atco Dragway
- 2020 NHRA Division 1 win at New England Dragway
- 2020 National Event runner up at New England Dragway
- 2020 NHRA Division 1 winner at Virginia Motorsports Park
When it comes to Taylor’s racing success, she gives all the credit to her supportive family. She has grandparents who faithfully watch each round on live-timing, parents who introduced her to racing and provide a dead-on racecar, combined with the motivation of her sister pushing her towards her goals.
Taylor continues, “My aunt, Jackie, sets my delay box with me and allows me to travel the country racing with her. My uncle, Shawn, sacrifices his own racing to make sure we have a plan set forth for every round. My uncle, Lee with C2 Converters, provides me with a successful combination that gets me down the track.”
Like many, Taylor dreams of winning an NHRA Division Championship, an NHRA National Event, and being the JEGS Allstar representative from Division 1. When it comes to reaching those goals, she understands the road is not always an easy one.
“The hardest part of drag racing is learning that you are going to get beat more times than not. In this class, you don’t get a participation trophy. It actually makes you grow as a person to be able to roll with the punches and realize, even if you are fully prepared, you still can still get beat.”
She also loves pro charged top dragsters and hopes to be able to compete in the Top Dragster class one day.
Eager to Learn
Aside from racing aspirations, Iacono is currently working towards her degree in Elementary and Special Education. She has a passion for working with special needs children and making a difference in their lives. She tells DragChamp, “I want to be a bright spot in their life.”
Although, her love for education doesn’t stop in the classroom. Instead of hating to lose like most racers, Taylor uses each loss as an opportunity to grow.
Her motto is that every loss eventually contributes to success at another moment. Of course, she celebrates every win (like her in-car victory dance after winning the race at VMP last season), but she’s thankful for each loss that teaches her what she needs to work on to improve.
Taylor Iacono adds to her Wally collection
Taylor took the time to answer a few more questions for DragChamp in the following Q&A.
Who do you look up to in the sport?
I look up to my Aunt Jackie Fricke. She has shown me what it’s like to never give up and chase your dreams. She has also shown me that success is
not given, its earned.
What are you saying to yourself just before staging the car?
To hit the tree and execute the stripe.
Are you superstitious? How so?
I am very superstitious. If you give me a fist bump first round and I win, you better be there the rest of the race to continue doing it. If I ask a question to my father, I have to ask it every round…I’m crazy, I know.
What motivates you to continue racing?
I don’t need much motivation because I eat, sleep, and breathe drag racing. Success motivates me to keep going. Every round win or race win makes me want to continue.
Name one thing most people don’t know about you.
I love going to bed early. Everyone at the track jokes that I miss all the fun, but I love my sleep!
- Movie: Shawshank Redemption
- Music: Country
- Sport: Football
- Team: Philadelphia Eagles
- Social Media: Instagram
- Food: Alaskan King Crab
- Restaurant: Longhorn Steakhouse
Thank You from Taylor Iacono
First and foremost, Taylor would like to thank her parents. She says, “My life would have never been what it is, without them. They sacrifice things for themselves in order for me and my sister to do what we love. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if they had not gotten us into racing.” As mentioned before, the entire family has a special bond throughout their racing.
Taylor also appreciates the support she receives from numerous sponsors. She names Josh Hart with Burnyzz Speed Shop as her biggest sponsor and says he has been part of her racing program from the start.
Other valuable companies who have contributed to her racing include CleanBoost Oil, Hoosier Tire, VP Race Fuels, Moroso Performance, Finke Equipment, Competitive Suspension, C2 Converters, Racepak, Quiklatch, Big Oak Fuel, and Accelerated Travel.
We love taking the time to talk about sportsman drag racers! Take a look at some of our other Racer Spotlight articles such as junior drag racer Cory Reed, the banana-driving Andy Schmall, or Ohio racer Carson Griffith.
Jessica was born into a family of drag racers and fell in love with the sport at a young age. She began competing at 13 and has been hooked ever since! She even met her husband at the World Footbrake Challenge VII. Jessica works full time as an Ultrasound Technologist but spends almost every weekend chasing win lights at IHRA and NHRA bracket races.