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Drag racing’s very interesting propensity for young lady driver talents shining within major league drag racing – continues on.

Even more evidence of that came during the very recent NHRA Pep Boys Nationals – held at Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania USA – when for the first time in nearly a decade since Kate Harker a female Australian driver was entered within the event’s Top Alcohol Dragster category.

Fiona Crisp, from Sydney NSW, was behind the wheel at that event driving one of the most potent injected nitro cars on the world circuit — a Randy Meyer racing machine which is normally driven by Norwegian young lady star racer Julie Nataas. Fiona’s NHRA national event debut did not produce an event victory – however a strong qualifying effort (#14 at 5.395 secs) followed by an impressive career best time during a first round lost to American motorsport royalty in Tony Stewart — 5.250 secs 276.97 mph – did speak volumes.

For Fiona, who’s profession is a Territory Manager for a Medical Services company in Australia, the event appearance was a huge accomplishment in itself within her long term goals and passion for drag racing.

“I have always been a fan of Top Alcohol — with the injected nitro dragsters really interesting me,” Fiona explained.  “While following her success — I built a friendship with Megan Meyer (a 2X NHRA Lucas Oil World Champion) over the years. It was through that connection made with Megan that our conversations led to the opportunity for me to licence and race with her team. I guess everything started to fall into place beginning from there.”  

Megan Meyer
Julie Nataas

“I first travelled to the USA ( in May/2022) to join Randy Meyer and the team to start my licensing process.  I met with Julie (Nataas) on the weekend of my licensing.  She has been very supportive and encouraging ever since — and she is actually one of the two people who signed my licence off!  Later, that summer (July) I got to compete at a Topeka Kansas (Lucas Oil Divisional) race with the team — which was a really great experience — as we managed to make it to the finals!”

“Ever since, I had a goal to get back to the USA to compete in my first national event race — but found that hard because Randy and the team with driver Julie Nataas are racing for a Lucas Oil World Championship.  However a window for opportunity did open because Julie wouldn’t be competing at the Earlville Iowa Divisional and or the Maple Grove nationals at Reading — so of course I said yes — I’ll be there!”

“Racing at Maple Grove was certainly a surreal feeling,” she confided.  “I had been a spectator at NHRA National Events in the past and watch it on-line most weekends.  So it was always a dream to compete on the same stage as the racers I have looked up to over the years.  Surprisingly I was not too nervous — but I was  excited and wanted to do well.  Because I had competed in the Top Alcohol Dragster class in two Divisional events prior, that gave me more confidence in my abilities as a driver.  But this race of course is a much bigger stage — with lots of people watching and media coverage attention.”

Prior to her ventures to the USA, Fiona had been honing her talents within her own Crisp Family Motorsport race team since 2005 (and age 11) in the Junior Dragster category. 

“In reality — the first time I went to the race track (with my Dad at Eastern Creek) I was just 3 weeks old — so it’s really safe to say I was born into this sport,” she laughed.  “When I finished Juniors I bought myself a rear-engine Modified dragster and I have been racing that within Australia pretty much ever since.”

This summer she plans to continue racing at home in Australia in her Modified eliminator class dragster. 

“I am excited to see how the new NDRC goes and plan to compete at as many of those events as I can,” she added.  “I am excited for the future of Drag Racing in Australia and look forward to supporting it.”

As for the longer term future — only time will tell.

“My time with the Randy Meyer Racing team was very inspiring,” she affirmed.  “Getting experience driving an injected nitro dragster in the NHRA and learning from a championship winning team, has I hope set me up for success to potentially one day race a Nitro car in Australia.   That would be my goal — but right now I don’t have any plans more firm.  So as for the future, we will see what happens.”

Fiona did emphasise a very special thank you to everyone in her family and her current sponsors GT Skips and Vinyl Wraps and Graphics. 

To follow along her racing journey visit:  facebook/crispfamilymotorsport and Instagram: @fionacrisp

You can read all about Crisp’s first venture into NHRA Top Alcohol here.

Article by Bruce Biegler

Photos by Dave DeAngelis, Bruce Biegler, Crisp Family Motorsport Facebook


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