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DI 30 Under 30 2023: Taylor Vetter

At eight years old, Taylor Vetter knew exactly what she wanted to do. She wanted to be a drag racer. Driven by a competitive edge, the Las Vegas native started out in NHRA’s Jr. Drag Racing League and progressed through the ranks to Top Dragster and Top Alcohol Dragster. Now in her second full season behind the wheel of a blown Red Line Oil Top Alcohol Dragster tuned by fiancé and alcohol veteran Nick Januik, Vetter stands out as the only female to opt for the supercharged combination.

[Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in DI #185, the 30 Under 30 Issue, in Nov/Dec of 2023.]

She made her debut in the class in late 2021, and at the Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals in 2022, Vetter reached the final, locked down top speed of the meet, and had the only car to dip into the 5.20-second zone on Sunday. She closed out the year with her first win in the class – and did so in spectacularly dramatic fashion – at the NHRA Finals. Thriving on speed, Vetter exceeded 280 mph multiple times in her first full season, and in 2023, she’s continuing her quick and fast ways and is on pace for a second-consecutive top 10 finish in the national standings. 

“We haven’t done this the easy way,” says Vetter. “We didn’t pay a tuner or buy me a ride to have success. Nick had no experience tuning a dragster, and he’s done an exceptional job. I’m one of only three people to go over 280 mph in a blown Top Alcohol Dragster, and I think that speaks volumes to Nick’s tuning, my crew, and our sponsors. I’m very lucky that I have the opportunity to race in this class and in Top Dragster. In 2022, I finished top 10 in Top Alcohol Dragster and top 10 in Division 7 in Top Dragster, and I’m very proud of that.” 

Although this season has not shown proof in terms of victory, it has been a season of growth for Vetter and a time of strengthening for herself and her soon-to-be husband. 

“Nick wanted me to race an alcohol dragster, and I was nervous, but his support has never wavered,” she says. “He supported me through my mistakes, and we both continue to learn. I also have to thank my parents, Mike and Noelle, for getting me into this sport when I was eight years old and buying my first Jr. Dragster.”

With marriage and hopefully, she says, children in their future plans, Vetter knows there will be exciting things ahead. She doesn’t see leaving the racing life, though, and is already focused on what next year will look like on-track.

“Our goal is to be more consistent,” says Vetter. “We can make some really good runs here and there, but it’s been challenging to put two or three together. Nick does a great job tuning, and I think that will help turn things around as he continues to gain experience. I’m also looking forward to seeing him excel in Pro Mod in the future. We’ve been very fortunate to accomplish what we have in two years, compared to other teams who have been doing this for several. I’m very content racing Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Dragster, and I don’t see that changing.”

This story was originally published on January 9, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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