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Salinas Gains Confidence After Strong Showing In New England

NHRA.tv photo

NHRA Top Fuel newcomer Jasmine Salinas is leaving the East Coast with new confidence after a solid showing at the NHRA New England Nationals this weekend. The talented pilot is gaining remarkable momentum after only a handful of races behind the wheel of her Scrappers Racing Top Fuel dragster. While her qualifying efforts were impressive, it was her race day performance that gave the team the boost they needed. 

In front of sellout crowds at New England Dragway, Jasmine started strong in the first round of qualifying when her 12,000-horsepower machine delivered a stunning 3.812-second run at 320.20 mph. Aiming for consistency, the Scrappers Racing team worked throughout the weekend to make the right adjustments for track conditions.

“The crowd this weekend was unbelievable,” said Jasmine. “The energy at the track is already exciting as is. But when you see all the people who chose to spend their hard-earned money at the track with us, packing those grandstands, it’s pretty awesome to see. There was a sense of mutual appreciation everywhere out here. We appreciate the fans’ fierce loyalty; they really make a difference in motivation and energy levels. I’m grateful for everyone who comes out to watch us race, and our way of thanking them is by trying our best to put on an exciting show. ”

Entering race day from the No. 12 spot, Jasmine faced off against No. 5 qualifier Billy Torrence, the father of four-time world champion Steve Torrence. After leaving the line within nine-thousandths of a second of each other, the two battled it out all the way to the stripe in a thrilling side-by-side drag race. Despite Jasmine recording her best run of the weekend with a 3.790 at 330.47 mph, Torrence edged her out on a holeshot with a 3.793 at 331.04 mph. While the round win may have eluded her today, the team is in high spirits.

“We feel like we have our race car back,” exclaimed Jasmine. “This crew has been working nonstop to help me get up to speed – literally – and I’m so glad we are making positive progress. Billy is a tough competitor with tons of experience. It still amazes me that I’m lining up against the world’s best drivers. While it would have been even better to have turned on that win light, I’m so glad we gave the fans a great drag race and had a lot of fun doing it! I know what I need to continue working on as a driver. This was great progress, but now we’re ready to all step up.”

Jasmine was the sole Scrappers Racing pilot to compete in New England and she’s eager to have her sister, Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Jianna Evaristo, join her next weekend in Bristol, Tenn. when the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series competes at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, June 7-9. 

This story was originally published on June 3, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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