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Scrappers Sisters Gear Up For Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Mark Rebilas photos

Sisters Jasmine Salinas (Top Fuel) and Jianna Evaristo (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are set to ignite the track for the Scrappers Racing team at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. Their father Mike Salinas, the Scrappers Racing team owner, won this iconic event twice (once in 2019 and again in 2021) behind the wheel of the same Scrappers Racing Top Fuel dragster his daughter Jasmine will power down the track this weekend.

Jasmine is facing some high expectations, given Mike’s impressive history at Bristol Dragway. However, she’s confident that the Scrappers Racing team, under the guidance of Rob Flynn and Arron Cave, can build upon the momentum they earned last weekend at the NHRA New England Nationals where she made significant strides in her powerful 12,000-horsepower machine. Heading directly into another race without a weekend off will help to keep the team’s motivation high.

“It’s nice to be able to maintain a rhythm so we can carry over what we did in Epping,” Jasmine commented. “Having a shorter break means everything feels fresh in my mind. We left Epping on a high note because of how well the car ran in the first round of eliminations. Everyone’s energy is up. We are bringing all of that excitement and confidence to Bristol. We are ready to hit the ground running.

“I’ve never raced at Bristol Dragway before, but it’s one of my favorite tracks. Knowing that our team has won here in the past is uplifting but it also kind of sets a high bar. That’s going to push me to perform well as a driver. The fans here are amazing and I look forward to connecting with them. My goal remains the same as it has all season, to continue learning new things behind the wheel so I can live up to the capabilities of this outstanding crew.”

With multi-time world champion Matt Smith leading her tuning efforts, Jianna has been making remarkable progress with her Scrappers Racing Buell this season. It’s a change for the Pro Stock Motorcycle up-and-comer but she’s embracing the challenge with fierce determination. The team tested after their last event in Chicago and found that making a few small changes resulted in big improvements on the Buell.

“It’s incredible how much improvement we saw during testing, just by making little adjustments,” remarked Jianna. “I’m excited to take what we’ve learned and apply it in competition. This bike is challenging in all the best ways. I can feel the power underneath me and it’s unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. I can’t wait to make it roar to life in Thunder Valley. While the beauty of this sport is that anything can happen at any given race, the fact that my dad has won here twice before is a good sign of things to come. We love this track. The fans, the location and the facilities are all wonderful. The Thunder Valley Nationals are coming at the right time for us as we near the midpoint of our season. Now is the time for us to focus and make some big moves.”

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series competition at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals will begin this Friday, June 7 with two qualifying sessions at 4:45 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., followed by two more qualifying passes on Saturday, June 8 at 12:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. Eliminations will begin at noon on Sunday, June 9.

This story was originally published on June 5, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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