DI Warm-Up: Tedesco Commits to Full Season in Hirata A/Fuel Dragster
21-year-old Mia Tedesco has already accumulated on-track experience often unmatched by competitors twice her age. The Pennsylvania youngster has not only driven, but won in classes ranging from Top Alcohol Dragster to Super Gas, from Top Dragster to the most competitive big dollar bracket classes in the country. Last season, in addition to competing in an aggressive schedule of sportsman and bracket events with her C.A.R.S. Protection Plus / WeFindParts.com backed team, she also ran a limited schedule behind the wheel of the Hirata family’s A/Fuel Dragster. In that machine, her efforts were highlighted by an NHRA Lucas Oil Regional Series victory in Bowling Green, KY. The pairing of Tedesco and the Hirata family proved a successful alliance, and they have agreed to increase their combined efforts in 2015.
This season, Mia plans to attend a full schedule of NHRA events: 10 national events and 8 regional events with the Hirata team in an effort to compete for the NHRA Lucas Oil Series national championship. The team will begin their Top Alcohol Dragster season at the NHRA Regional Series event in Gainesville, FL February 20-22.
“I think we’re ready,” said a confident Tedesco. “We got our feet wet last season, and we had some growing pains – I was learning on the fly and I made a lot of mistakes, but we got stronger as the season went on. I think we can make some noise in TAD this season.”
When asked about a run at the championship, Mia tempered expectations, but only slightly. “We’ve got a great car, but to this point I haven’t won a national event in any category, so let’s start there,” said the three-time NHRA national event runner-up. “My goal is to win a race in the A/Fuel car at the national level, win a race at the regional level, and to finish in the top ten of the national standings. I realize those are pretty lofty goals, but I know we’ve got a great team that is capable.”
In addition to her Top Alcohol Dragster competition, Tedesco and her longtime C.A.R.S. Protection Plus / WeFindParts.com teammate Jason Lynch plan to pursue an aggressive schedule of NHRA Mello Yello national events and Lucas Oil Division events in an effort to compete for national championships in three categories each. Mia will drive a second sportsman entry (in either Top Dragster or Super Gas) at every event in which she drives the Hirata A/Fuel machine. Plus, the team will make several other appearances with the sportsman cars only. Lynch also plans to compete for a title in Top Dragster, Super Comp, and Super Gas.
“I feel really good about this season,” expressed Tedesco. “For the first time, I feel like we’ve got real direction: our focus is on NHRA Lucas Oil competition almost exclusively. For years, we’ve run a bracket race here, Super Comp there, and mixed in a Top Dragster event, we changed it up a lot. That was great for me, particularly the bracket events, because I was able to get a ton of valuable experience in a pretty short time period. I’m going to miss the bracket events for that reason - seat time, plus they’re a lot of fun. But the time has come for me to really focus on NHRA competition. I’m getting more comfortable at every event, and this clear focus and direction has me more mentally prepared and more confident than ever. I feel like we’re going to have a great season.”
Tedesco will actually kick off her season at the NHRA Lucas Oil Division Series event in Orlando, FL, February 13-15, where she will compete in Top Dragster and Super Gas. A week later, she will make her 2015 TAD debut at the Gainesville Regional event.
In addition to CARS Protection Plus, WeFindParts.com, and AAMCO, the Tedesco Racing team relies on quality products from Renegade Race Fuels, Hoosier Racing Tires, Abruzzi Transmissions & Converters, Quick Fuel Technologies and Wilkerson Racing Engines. To keep up to date with the latest news on Mia Tedesco and the Tedesco Racing Team, follow Miss Mia on Facebook and Twitter.
- THE HOTTEST 2015, Drag Illustrated’s highly anticipated look at the best, brightest and baddest women in drag racing, is now available for FREE online. NHRA Top Fuel driver Brittany Force covers the issue.
- 2014 NHRA East Region Top Alcohol Dragster champion Jackie Fricke talks about her “dream season” in the issue. For more on Jackie’s background, check out this feature from Pro Sportsman Association writer and TA/FC driver Todd Veney.
- Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Angie Smith, who also appears in THE HOTTEST 2015, did this Q&A with sponsor Affliction Clothing just before the NHRA Auto Club Finals last year.
- Brittany Force paired up alongside her dad, John, for a father-daughter, Funny Car vs. Top Fuel match race at the PRO Winter Warm-Up test session last season.
- Lizzy Musi (page 90) sat down with DI right after her big first PDRA Pro Nitrous win at Virginia last year. It should be interesting to see what Lizzy and team can do this year with a new Frank Brandao-owned Dodge Dart.
- Tera Wendland-Graves (page 100) added to her impressive resume last year when she earned her NHRA Nostalgia Funny Car license in John Hale’s fuel flopper. Here’s some cool footage from the licensing.