For 15-year-old Tiffany Snoddy, there’s no greater feeling than strapping into a junior dragster, hitting the accelerator, and driving fast and straight down the drag strip.
“I drive a 2010 half-scale junior dragster,” she said. “I normally race at Music City Raceway in Union Hill, Tenn. on Saturday and Beech Bend Raceway, in Bowling Green, Ky. on Sunday. But, this year I am traveling more in the Midwest Junior Super Series (MJSS). I’ve been to Lyons, Ind., and Paducah, Ky. so far. I am going to Indiana a few more times; Bristol, Tenn.; Alabama; Missouri and more.”
She first got into the junior dragster about two-and-a-half years ago and said, “I got involved in racing because of my dad (Tony) and brother (Greg). My dad started racing and he got my brother into it. My brother started racing bicycles at Music City Raceway then he moved up into a big car. I always watched them race, and it looked really fun, so I wanted to try it and I ended up really loving it.”
She said she’d love to move up to a bigger division or even a full-scale dragster, which would be the car she’d choose, if she had the choice.
“If you have a big car that’s really all you need to move up,” Snoddy said. “But when you do move up you need to make (a certain number of passes down the track in her car) to get your NHRA license to be able to race at big events.”
She said her family mainly sponsors the car, but she has had some help from “our insurance guy” at Vandenburgh Insurance Company. Her crew members are her dad (Tony), and her mom (Lisa).”
After she does her burnout, heating her tires, she said, “everything goes through my mind actually. I think about the person I’m racing and if I need to be on my game more or less. I think about my car and feel if it’s acting right or not. Then, I just try to clear my mind when I start to pre-stage and stage.”
Her reaction times at the green light “are pretty good I think. I average between a 0.010-second light to a 0.040-second light most of the time. I will miss the tree (light) some though… sometimes it will be because of the sun in my eyes or my car might mess up. The best I’ve had is a perfect light a 0.000-second (known as the perfect light or perfect tree) is very hard to get. I’ve had three so far this year.”
While some of the NHRA dragsters can go upwards of 300 plus miles per hour, Snoddy said she took the weights off her car once and went 86 miles per hour.
No matter the speed, she picks up the wins. So far, in her career, she has about 55 trophies and has captured about 30 wins. Including in those trophies are two Wallys, the top trophy in NHRA drag racing. There are only select times during the year a person can win them at a local track.
Snoddy said, “I would love to move up into Top Fuel in the NHRA Mellow Yellow Series. I did want to move up into Pro-Stock, because (NHRA driver) Erica Enders-Stevens is my idol and she races Pro-Stock. I found out that you have to shift while running Pro-Stock and I think that would be too hard for me so I would rather go to Top Fuel.”
As far as drag racing for a career, at this point, she thinks she wants to be a veterinarian or a nurse practitioner.
Still, she admits, “racing is my life. I’d choose racing over everything.”