HerVoice: For Fargo woman, drag racing ‘completely addicting’
Her Voice is a weekly article about women in or from our area and how they make an impact on the world around them. If you know someone SheSays should feature in HerVoice, email Tracy Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FARGO – Breanna Rachac has been racing cars since she was 16 years old.
The 25-year-old Fargo woman drag races a 1977 tube chassis Chevy Vega in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) West Central Division 5, which encompasses North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Manitoba, Canada.
“I love the speed, the adrenaline,” she said. “When you’re sitting in the car and it’s revving up, you’re completely focused. Nothing else even enters your mind. It’s completely addicting.”
Rachac said she was interested in cars when she was younger, but decided she “wanted to be girly” and didn’t want to have anything to do with cars for a while.
Then her dad took her to a national competition in Brainerd, Minn., when she was 14, even though she said she didn’t want to go.
“That event changed my life,” she said. “I was hooked from the very first day I was there. The speed and the noise and everything, it just seemed so right. I just fell in love.”
Her dad, who used to race, is now her crew chief and biggest supporter, Rachac said.
“It takes blood, sweat and tears to get that car ready every week and he’ll do it just so I can race,” said Rachac, who also works on her own car.
She’s had her current car since January and said she has been racing almost every weekend starting in May.
“It’s had bugs that we’re working out, but it’s a lot of fun,” she said of the car.
Rachac races in the Super Pro and Super Gas classes. She said her car reaches speeds of 145 mph in about 9.5 seconds on the quarter-mile track. She often races at Top End Dragways in Glyndon, Minn.
Rachac said there aren’t many female drag racers, but there are more than there used to be. While she’s raced other women a few times, she typically races men.
Being a woman in a male-dominated sport, Rachac said occasionally someone will doubt her, but most people are incredibly supportive and encouraging.
She gets a lot of exposure and attention being one of a few female drag racers.
“I was just at a track in Iowa for the first time and everyone there already knew who I was,” Rachac said.
She has also appeared in Popular Hot Rodding and Midwest Wheels of Thunder magazines.
Rachac has been a national dragster challenge winner, track points champion, king of the track runner up and seven-time NHRA Division 5 Finals qualifier.
“There’s a lot of struggling with racing. It’s always something,” she said. “But when it actually works, that makes everything worth it.”
Drag racing can be dangerous, but Rachac said because she has such a fast car she had to go through special licensing. She also has multi-layer fire suits and a roll cage.
“I feel safer racing in that car than I do driving in my pickup,” she said.
Drag racing is a hobby for Rachac, who works as a preschool teacher and at a Fargo restaurant and bar.
“I get more obsessed with it every year,” she said of drag racing.
She plans to participate in the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals August 14-17 at the Brainerd International Raceway.