Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Exclusive

HOTTEST 2019: Grudge Racing Is Serious Business For Aria Connolly

Grudge racing is serious business for Aria Connolly. The Long Island-based chef has stepped up her program this season after switching from her ’95 Mustang to an ’89 Mustang previously driven by her boyfriend, JoJo Marafino. The couple has combined forces on a new powerplant for the “Mz. Hyde” Mustang that should see Connolly improve on an already impressive score in grudge races and No-Clock Small-Block Shootouts.

[Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in DI #143, the Hottest Issue, in April of 2019.]

Connolly was nearly unstoppable in 2018, going 5-0 in grudge races, winning a shootout at Maryland’s Capitol Raceway and taking runner-up in two others. Her performance earned her the Female Grudge Racer of the Year Award, the result of a National Grudge Race Association poll, as well as Rookie of the Year honors from the East Coast Grudge Race Association.

A first-round red light stopped Connolly in the No-Clock Small-Block Shootout at Lights Out X in February, but she expects more late-round finishes and grudge match victories in the coming months.

“Now that we have a way more competitive car, I think we’ll be able to go to these higher caliber races and really be able to dominate once we get a handle on the car,” Connolly says. “We’re making a couple changes on the car after Georgia that I know will be a definite help to us to make it to the finals and take home more wins this year.”

It’s obvious Connolly is passionate about grudge racing. She’s worked to attract sponsorship from companies like NGK Spark Plugs, ProTorque, UPR Products and Induction Solutions, and she feels strongly about grudge racing as a strong platform for sponsors and an entertaining form of racing for fans.

“I think people should focus a little more on grudge races and not let us get overshadowed by all the sportsman races,” Connolly says. “There’s a whole other world here that people are missing out on. We’re not just clogging up the staging lanes, we’re out there putting a show for everybody.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You May Also Like

News

Tony Christian, one of the pioneering drivers of the Pro Street movement, passed away Thursday, June 9. Christian was infamous for his battles with...

News

The Mid-West Drag Racing Series (MWDRS) is saddened over the passing of Pro Mod driver Ronnie Hobbs following an on-track incident during Friday night...

Exclusive

Leah Pruett scored the first NHRA Top Fuel win for her and husband Tony Stewart’s professional drag racing team this past weekend in Denver,...

News

Drag racer Sean Serra has passed away in a tragic car accident. He was 27 years old. Serra was involved in a single-car rollover...

Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.