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Jasmine Salinas Leaves Las Vegas With New Career Best Speed

Mark Rebilas photos

Jasmine Salinas is feeling more and more at home behind the wheel of her Scrappers Racing Top Fuel dragster. The talented Top Fuel newcomer continued to turn heads this weekend as she recorded a career-best speed at her third NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series event, the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 

In only her first qualifying pass of the event on Friday, Salinas made a blistering run of 3.848 seconds at 326.32 MPH, marking the best speed of her career, so far. Competing in the complexities of the four-wide format can be challenging for even the most experienced of drivers, but Salinas handled it with ease as she followed that first Friday effort with another solid lap of 3.867 at 303.16. Although qualifying on Saturday did not go as smoothly, Salinas got to line up in an all-female trio alongside Brittany Force and Krista Baldwin, adding a level of significance to the day. 

“This weekend was another successful weekend of growing as a driver and team,” said Salinas. “I ran my personal best speed of 326 miles per hour in qualifying. And those little wins keep us pushing forward for more. Moments like those are very encouraging for our team and I think it’s exciting for them to experience a driver’s ‘firsts’ all over again.

“Besides running my personal best speed, my favorite moment by far was getting to run an all-lady trio with Brittany Force and Krista Baldwin in qualifying on Saturday. Brittany is someone I’ve always looked up to. And Krista is the one who helped me really get my start and learn how to race. I wish our car would have made it down the track on that run, but little moments like that will stick with me forever.”

Beginning eliminations from the No. 13 position, anticipation was high as Salinas lined up against a heavy-hitting quad consisting of No. 4 qualifier Billy Torrence, No. 5 qualifier Brittany Force, and No. 12 qualifier Josh Hart. While all four cars launched off of the starting line smoothly, Salinas lost traction and veered toward the center line as she dropped cylinders. Torrence pitched his blower belt and experienced a similar fate as Force and Hart turned on a duo of win lights.

While an early exit is never on the agenda for a competitive race team, Salinas is optimistic about the progress of the Scrappers Racing team. 

“We’re still working on getting this car to run how we want. But I have all the confidence in the world that this team will get us back to running the numbers my dad was running,” remarked Salinas. “And when it all comes together, I can’t wait to see what we accomplish this year. We all know what we’re capable of as a team. As a driver, I’m learning what I’m capable of each and every day. And that’s honestly, that’s very exciting for me because I know there’s still so much more for me to experience and grow from.

“Getting the four-wide here in Vegas checked off was great. It gives me more confidence going into the Charlotte four-wide. Both this car and I have performed well there in the past. Our expectations of ourselves have remained the same since I first hopped into the car three races ago in Pomona. We’re not showing up just to qualify for a race. We’re showing up to win. And that’s what we’re going to continue fighting to achieve.”

Salinas and the Scrappers Racing team will travel to Charlotte for the second four-wide event of the season, the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway, April 26-28.

This story was originally published on April 15, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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