Drag Racing — 14 August 2010

Courtesy of GirlRacer.co.uk

Canadian Samantha Whitfield loves to race. Her pride and joy is a 2002 Harley Davidson Ford F-150 which she has been drag racing since she was a teenager.

Samantha studied automotive services at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) which she was able to put to use on her F-150, while working as a helicopter mechanic at Langley Airport. Samantha then began to apply her drive and determination to her dream to become a model, which was realised when she lost over 80 pounds and began participating in photo shoots. This has allowed Samantha to combine her love of modelling and passion for cars, as well as enabled her to use her story to inspire others. When she’s not too busy modelling her current focus is on making her pride and joy the fastest F-150 in the world. I had the chance to talk to Samantha about her passion for racing, her F-150 and ask her about what advice she had for others chasing their dreams.  

How and when did you get involved in drag racing?
As soon as I got my drivers license I was ready to race! I always loved to go fast when I was growing up. Whether it was when I was riding my horse or pedalling like crazy on my bike! I never set out to get into racing; it was just sort of something that happened. I was 17 years old with a fairly stock truck (just an airaid intake box and superchips tuner) I ran a 13.99 and although I knew that was decent for a 5,000+lb truck I wanted to go faster. The more times I went out the more competitive I got and I realized this was something I wanted to do and was very passionate about. It became something I thought about all the time and was constantly making lists of what I wanted to do to the truck to make it go faster.
Did you face any difficulties getting into the sport and if so how did you overcome them?
I don’t think I faced anything that made me reconsider what I was doing or wonder if it was right for me. I knew getting into it that it’s a male dominated sport, but I have always been different and not your typical girl. I am very fortunate and have many supporters and fans that appreciate the fact I am passionate about racing and knowledgeable on what I do. For sure there are guys that don’t like the fact a girl can kick their ass at the track, or that my truck is faster than their car, but it weeds out the boys from the men and its so true, whenever someone isn’t supportive or tries to bring you down, it gives you that much more drive!
Tell me a bit about the F-150 you drive/race.
The truck has come a long way over the past 6+ years. From running a 13.99 a few years back to running an 11.35 last year. I was extremely proud and happy the truck managed to run a low 11 second pass as a full-size truck, with dead tires and crappy stock suspension, BUT it wasn’t quick enough! After spending a lot of time approaching companies I have been very fortunate to have many big name sponsors and people helping me out. We are going for a mid 10 second pass once it’s done in a few weeks!
I understand you want to make it the fastest F-150 in the world, how is that progressing?  What ET are you aiming for?
I am aiming for a mid 10 second pass. Because the truck is going to be so completely different: ladder bar setup, mini tub, new slicks, DEI triple threat nytrex and cryo setup, 3.4 whipple, kirkey seats etc it is hard to predict what it will do. I am confident that not only because it will have more horsepower, but the proper suspension to put it to the ground, the possibilities are endless!
How often do you race?
Currently I haven’t raced in awhile since the truck has been undergoing the makeover, but when it’s done I race every Friday night street legal at the local track, Mission Raceway.
I understand you currently race predominantly at Mission Raceway, have you got any plans to try some new tracks?
For sure! I love Mission Raceway and we are all very lucky to have such a great track to race at, in such a great location. The President and Vice President, Ken and Brian are great people who are just as passionate about racing as all the racers are. I will probably travel to the US later this year and try out a new track after getting a great time at Mission.
What do you like most about drag racing?
I love the adrenaline. My heart racing, legs shaking and that rush I get when I’m seconds away from stabbing the gas pedal makes all the hard work and stress all worth it!

I love having lots of people come up to me at the track and ask about the truck and be blown away that a truck can beat a lot of cars. It’s always nice to meet the fans that come to the track to watch us all race.
You went from working as a helicopter mechanic to working as a full-time model, what was the transition like?
I sometimes really miss working on the helicopters. It was fun to take something apart after it was damaged and fix it up, putting it all back together. Then to see it fly off after it was completed.

After I lost a lot of weight through willpower and working very hard the modelling came as something to show others that with hard work and dedication you can reach your goals. I love to incorporate the modelling with the racing and the truck. I don’t need another girl to pose in front of my truck when I can do it myself!
How important is your BCIT qualification to you?
Although certificates and qualifications don’t always mean everything I believe that being a woman in this industry it doesn’t hurt to have a qualification for Auto Mechanics. I think it’s good for young girls to see a woman in this sport and the fact I went to school for it. A lot of girls are into cars and racing but don’t always feel they can get involved since they are the minority. I do think it is slowly becoming more of an equal playing field and I don’t doubt we will see more women out at the tracks racing.
If you could give one piece of advice to others chasing their dreams what would it be?
If you are passionate about what you do and willing to work hard and dedicate yourself you truly can achieve anything you want to. It isn’t always easy and there are for sure bumps in the road but it’s all the trials and tribulations that make it all worth it when you get to that place you have worked so hard for. Never let anyone doubt what you are doing or try to make you think you should do something else. If it’s in your heart it is meant to be.
Who do you receive support from?
I receive a lot of support from my fans and family. My boyfriend, Stefan has helped with the build of the truck and done all the hard work from building the ladder bars to completing the moly cage. My Mum is a huge support and has always stood next to me no matter what. Although I scare her and make her worry as I’m going down the track she is also the person screaming the loudest cheering me on!  I would like to thank my amazing sponsors for all their support: DEI, Lethal Performance, Mickey Thompson, Ken Herring of Texas ChassisWorks,  Mission Raceway, Harwood Hoods, Amazon Tuning Solutions, Ricks Tanks.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Please check out my website for many videos, pictures and info to stay up to date on myself and my Harley truck build! Thanks so much! samanthawhitfield.com

On behalf of Girlracer Magazine I’d like to thank Samantha for her time and Rob Robinson of Blown Sports Marketing for bringing this passionate and talented racer to our attention! Chelsea Woods Girlracer magazine

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