The Stampede of Speed, Pre-K version, takes center stage Saturday at the Texas Motorplex where, before the third round of nitro qualifying for the 38th NHRA Texas Fall nationals, some of drag racing’s most promising young talent will vie for bragging rights in round three of the “Toddler Tricycle Nationals” presented by Red Line Oil.
Riding an unprecedented wave of peer popularity, the former stars of the “Baby Walker Nationals” this time will throw down astride color-coordinated tricycles in a pedal-powered duel of the diminutive that started in Charlotte, N.C., last April before resuming in Norwalk, Ohio, in June.
The combatants not only are familiar to the fans, they’re also familiar to each other.
Racing in her home state on the bright red trike, from Kilgore, Texas, will be Haven Charli Torrence, daughter of event creator Natalie Torrence and her four-time Top Fuel world championship-winning husband, Steve. On the blue cycle, all the way from Maidens, Va., will be Olivia Gladstone, daughter of 2022 Pro Stock Motorcycle championship runner-up Joey Gladstone and his wife Nicole.
In yellow, as one would expect of a fourth-generation JEG’s racer, will be Aubrey Coughlin of Ostrander, Ohio, daughter of two-time 2023 Pro Stock event winner Troy Coughlin and his wife Brenna.
Pedaling the “Green Goblin” in advance of Halloween will be Helen Hart, daughter of Pep Boys All-Star Call Out winner Josh Hart and his wife Brittanie. And, finally, on the white “Good Guys” trike, the only guy in the group, it’s James Alexander, son of Norwalk Funny Car winner Blake Alexander and his wife, Leah.
“Last year’s event was a big hit, but upgrading to tricycles has taken it to another level,” said Mark Beatty, Brand Director for Red Line Oil, his tongue slightly in cheek. “Red Line Oil is all about family, and we are thrilled to see the next generation of racers here at the track. What we do is so much more than a job; it’s a passion, and it’s the families with whom we are involved that make it so rewarding.”