Melissa “Westerman” Fedrick came to Top Gun Raceway with 18 years of racing experience, and it showed in duel wins this weekend Saturday and Sunday as the No. 1 qualifier in the NorCal Top Comp dragster division. Fedrick had a 6.96 at 200.47 mph during Saturday’s qualifying races, and only improved her time Sunday with a 6.678 at 235 mph as the top qualifier both days in her Girl Power dragster. “I fell into getting with the girlpowerracing.com since I drove for the previous owner for about a season,” Fedrick said, a three-time NorCal Top Comp champion who has been racing since she was 16 in her 66 Mustang. “Where I’m trying to take it is to be an inspiration for girls in racing or in other sports, basically in anything they want to do. They can do it.”
Fedrick, though she agreed to a lack of female racers in the NHRA and other divisions, pointed out a lot more women racers are becoming involved.
A three-time champion in total 18 years racing, who said she did the math this morning, started at 16 racing her 66 Mustang until her dragster came along 10 years ago.
“If you look at the junior dragsters out here today, you’ll see there’s a lot of girls and if you look at the higher ranks there’s more and more,” she said.
The arguable biggest challenge for Fedrick this weekend was the presence of Steve Kasner who was nine points away from Fedrick, 500 to her 509, in the Norcal TopComp. Though Kasner remains near the top, he is now 11 points behind Wally Jacks, one of this weekend’s TopComp champions who split a $2,000 prize with runner up.
“I’m always racing against awesome racers, but the thing about Dragster is you’re also always racing against yourself,” Fedrick said of her first qualifying time and how it always feels good to be seeded first.
Fedrick’s best time is back in Sonoma, Calif., where she moved as a 4-years old, although she was born in Nevada. Fedrick recently ran a 6.49 at 206 mph, and feared she would run much slower at Top Gun because of the altitude change.
“I’m a Sonoma girl,” she said, proudly.
After 18 years of racing, however, the biggest change Fedrick said is her involvement with the NorCal Top Comp association on which her and her father are board members.
“So we’re keeping that alive having an affordable way for top sportsman cars and top dragsters to race,” Fedrick said. “That’s changed, as well as becoming a faster racer. My mustang had the original 289 three-speed and was an 18-second car. Now it’s a 10-second car, and the dragster is a six-second car. It’s the incrementals of getting more experience and going faster where you really grow.”