WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- After a couple of great reaction times, Kyla Feit reacted with overwhelming joy after winning the Junior Dragster championship at the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Summit SuperSeries World Finals at Memphis International Raceway.
The 14-year-old from Wisconsin Rapids, Wisc., was particularly pleased with the brand-new, turn-key IHRA Summit SuperSeries Junior Dragster, built by American Race Cars and featuring a unique paint scheme by Jerron Settles of Imagine That Customs and a Computech DataMaxx Jr. data logger and LCD display.
“It’s a beautiful car. I love the paint job on it,” Feit said. “The DataMaxx is amazing and it’s a super nice car. I was so excited about the car I wanted to sleep in it when we got it home.”
The other car which Feit used to win the IHRA World Championship was a 2012 Halfscale with a Osborne Pro Street built-motor. Prior to that, she was the IHRA Summit SuperSeries points champion at the historic Great Lakes Dragaway and competed at Wisconsin International Raceway.
“It was cool to win the track championship in my first-year racing at that track,” Feit said about Great Lakes. “It’s a very nice place, a good track to be at and all the people there are nice.”
It qualified her for the Summit SuperSeries World Finals at Memphis, which included a Racers Party on Friday night. It added to an experience which she called a fun weekend overall. While she was happy at first just to make it to the World Finals, the intensity ramped up through the elimination rounds.
“It was a really cool opportunity and I was happy just making it past first round,” she said. “My nerves went up a little the farther I went, but I tried to stay calm where I could focus on doing my best.”
She was at the top of her game at the tree, posting a .001 reaction time to beat South Carolina racer Morgan Carroll in the first round. She followed it up with a .002 reaction time to down Illinois driver Bobby Ince Jr. in round two.
Feit continued to be quick at the start, beating perennial favorite Dalton Lummus of China, Texas in round three and another Illinois driver, Tori Trench, in the quarterfinals. Feit had a slower reaction time against Missouri racer Andrew Goss in the semifinals, but still pulled out the win.
In the final, she was back to the quick starts, beating Texas racer Chance Turman on a holeshot. Feit had a .023 reaction time, paired with a 7.897-second run against a 7.90 dial-in.
Off the track, she’s a straight-A student and she has been involved in dance since she was three years old. She believes the footwork she has learned in her years in dancing has helped with her reaction times at the track.
“The dancing really does help my drag racing,” Feit said. “But, I also like the mechanical part of racing and how they are two different things. I go from dance to the race track and it’s good how some parts of those are totally different and how I like both.”