For as long as Tricia Musi can remember she’s wanted to drive race cars. In her younger years she watched father, Pat Musi, build his engine business and field his own cars. In more recent years Tricia has supported her sister Lizzy as she sprung into the professional eighth mile spotlight. Now, though, it’s finally Tricia’s turn.
In 2015 the youngest Musi daughter will field the car previously driven by Lizzy, a 2010 Dodge Stratus, in PDRA Top Sportsman. Under the hood will be a 903 ci Musi power plant. The operation is owned by Mike Bankston, who Tricia totes as being a major force behind making her dreams come true.
“He’s been the support for everything,” Tricia said of Bankston. “I am extremely thankful for Mike Bankston. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be where I am now, and I am more than excited to be a part of the Bankston Boyz Team. I truly have got a blessing from the Lord above that I would not change for the world.
“I’ve been wanting to do this my whole life. I’ve worked and worked and worked. My dream was to one day get in a race car. I told my dad that I need to get in a race car. I grew up around it. I’ve pulled motors apart. I worked on Rickie Smith’s car. We won Bristol together in 2013. It’s been awesome, and I’m so excited for next year.
“I’m going to try my hardest and get as much seat time in as possible before we start racing,” Musi said, elaborating on her approach to Top Sportsman. “That’s my biggest thing right now: getting seat time so I’m comfortable when the season starts next year. It’s going to be tough, but I’m dedicated, I’m focused, I’m ready to go. I just need to listen to everybody and take all of the advice I can get. All in all I’m so excited. My dream is finally coming true.”
Twenty-two year old Tricia has had seat time in Dan Green’s ‘69 Camaro powered by a Musi-built, naturally aspirated 565 ci. She’s been as fast as 5.50s in the eighth and has also had some experience in a Nova streetcar. However, the majority of her time has been working in her dad’s shop where she’s quick to get her hands dirty when not handling accounting duties.
“I’ve had a little bit of experience in the door cars, but nothing as fast as Top Sportsman or Pro Nitrous. This is my dream so I’m going to put my all into it. I’m never going to stop going. I’m just going to keep on improving.”
The “King Kong” theme Lizzy Musi championed on the Stratus will move to her new Pro Nitrous machine, while Tricia will be working on her own branding and sponsors. Bankston and his team will haul the car and act as crew, although Tricia plans to be heavily involved in all aspects of the operation.
Tricia already is already very capable of handling many of the mechanical duties on the car from the engine to the four link, but is looking forward to learning even more. “Even though I’m going to be a driver next year, I still want to work on the car. I wouldn’t be able to drive the car well without knowing what’s going on mechanically. I don’t want to be just the driver and nothing else. I’m a hands-on type person.”
Additional crew help will come from the rest of the Musi family as the two teams work together to add Tricia’s Top Sportsman entry to the fleet. The team is currently working on sponsorship opportunities as well.
“My sister is my biggest inspiration,” Musi concluded. “She did amazing this year. I did everything I could for her to make her comfortable in that car. I love her to death. She’s definitely going to be my inspiration, my go-to girl if I ever need any answers. She’s my number one.”