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Ida Zetterström Announces 2024 NHRA Schedule and Crew Chief, Expands Relationship with Dodge

Rick Belden photo

The JCM Racing team has announced that 2023 FIA Top Fuel champion Ida Zetterström will make her NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series debut at Brainerd International Raceway, Aug. 16 – 18, in Brainerd, Minnesota. Aboard the JCM/VP Racing/Edelbrock/CompCams Top Fuel dragster, Zetterström will stage a 12,000-horsepower machine in competition for the first time in the U.S. when qualifying for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals kicks off on Friday, Aug. 16.

“I’m so excited to share that I’ll finally be hitting the track at Brainerd and will be competing alongside my teammate, Tony Schumacher, in the final eight of 20 races on the schedule this year,” said the Swedish-born racer who relocated to the Indianapolis area in January to be near JCM Racing’s Brownsburg, Indiana headquarters. “I’ve been chomping at the bit to share my first race date, but we wanted to wait until we had it completely buttoned up first. 

“Fans have been asking what’s taking so long for me to get on the track, but the reality is, it takes a while to assemble a new operation. I didn’t move to the U.S. and hop into the driving role of a team and operation that already existed. Instead, we’re building this team from scratch and there’s a lot that goes into that. In addition to building a car and figuring out a crew, we have to stock our parts inventory, trucks and trailers need to be purchased and outfitted as fully stocked race rigs, wraps need to be designed, approved, and installed. The list goes on and on, but I’m so glad that we finally have that Brainerd date confirmed because now the countdown is on – 86 days!”

After the Brainerd event, Zetterström will join Schumacher on drag racing’s largest stage when the duo of JCM Racing Top Fuel pilots hits the track for the 70th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis over Labor Day weekend. After closing out the Mission Foods Series ‘regular’ season at Brainerd and Indianapolis, Zetterström will run the full slate of NHRA Countdown to the Championship events as she pursues NHRA’s 2024 Rookie of the Year award.

“As many who follow me on social media know, I’ve been traveling to every race with the team this year,” added Zetterström, who has completed two test sessions so far, one in the car she will campaign in 2024, and the other in Schumacher’s car. “Jon [Schaffer, who currently serves as Schumacher’s co-crew chief alongside Mike Neff] and the team have been working tirelessly to get everything ready for my Brainerd debut. Jon will be moving over to my team full-time starting in Brainerd, so it’s been great that we’ve been able to spend this time really getting to know each other before just going full throttle with this whole operation. I’m right there with the team at the shop helping wherever I can, and at the track, I mix the fuel before every one of Tony’s runs and jump in as an extra set of hands whenever needed. Being able to travel with the team and work alongside them at the shop has been great because I have been able to develop such strong relationships with all of them and have felt extremely comfortable and trusting in them during those first few test days. I can’t wait to have that moment of getting suited up and strapped into my JCM/VP Racing/Edelbrock/CompCams dragster when we pull up for that first qualifying run in Brainerd.”

Supporting Zetterström’s efforts as she vies for her first drag racing trophy on U.S. soil is the Dodge brand. Zetterström has a previous relationship with the overseas operation of the iconic muscle car manufacturer, having served as a Dodge brand ambassador in Europe for the past year. 

“I love being affiliated with Dodge and representing American muscle car culture in Europe. Last month, I flew to the Netherlands to take in the full FIM Superbike World Championship experience as a guest of Dodge. I made the first lap before Saturday’s Race 1 in my Challenger SRT Hellcat, and I also participated in the award ceremonies of the Superpole. Dodge’s cameras captured it all and my experience will be documented in the first episode of the latest season of IN//OUT, a Dodge Europe series that fans can catch on the Dodge Official YouTube page.”

Dodge will be providing Zetterström and the JCM/VP Racing/Edelbrock/CompCams Top Fuel team with off-track vehicle support and social media exposure throughout the remainder of the season. Dodge recently sent Zetterström and fellow Dodge ambassador Leah Pruett to Radford Racing School where the two straight-line speedsters put their skills to the test behind a pair of Hellcats on the Chandler, Arizona facility’s road course.

As a Dodge-affiliated driver, Zetterström will also participate in driver autograph sessions and Dodge-backed media events with Pruett, Matt Hagan, Tony Stewart, and Cruz Pedregon. When she hits the track in Brainerd, her race car, helmet, and firesuit will all carry the Dodge logo, demonstrating her ties with the brand that is so embedded into the drag racing culture.

Beyond her eight-race 2024 campaign piloting the JCM/VP Racing/Edelbrock/CompCams Top Fuel dragster, Zetterström is slated to run the full 2025 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series schedule. She has plans to test at least twice more before making her competition debut.

Zetterström makes a test pass at Firebird Motorsports Park, April 2024

This story was originally published on May 21, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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