By Jerry Jordan, Editor
Following in her father’s tire tracks, Jasmine Salinas is moving up to the NHRA Top Fuel division and will make her first start when the season kicks off at the 2024 Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.
“It’s really hard to put into words what it means to say that I’m now officially a Top Fuel dragster driver,” said the 31-year-old Salinas. “From my first pass in Arizona where it was all about getting the feel of the launch and the power to my first ‘full pull’ and passes over 313 mph, it’s really been a unique experience. Now it’s time to spend as much time as possible the rest of the 2023 season getting runs and continued testing where possible and ensuring I’m in the best physical and mental condition possible when the 2024 season kicks off.”
Driving for her family’s Scrappers Racing team, Salinas has been working towards this goal for years. She has been racing with the Top Alcohol division in selected events to stay acclimated with being behind the wheel while maintaining focus on her 2024 plans.
In order to obtain a Top Fuel license, a driver must have other racers sign-off. Salinas made her first Top Fuel pass at Wildhorse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, AZ and must have impressed her colleagues. The requirements for a Top Fuel license include making two 1/4 mile passes in 5 seconds, or less, at a speed of, at least, 270 mph and two 1,000 feet passes in 4.3 seconds or less, and at 250 mph, or faster. Her license was signed by Blake Alexander, Antron Brown, Tipp Tatum and her father, Mike Salinas.
“It’s really an exciting time for Scrappers Racing to be expanding to two Top Fuel dragsters for the 2024 season and especially having Jasmine behind the wheel of one of them,” said Mike Salinas, team owner. “Now that we’ve got Jasmine officially licensed, our focus is sponsorship on the cars for 2024. I know she will make an incredible ambassador for the right partner and I want to make sure she has the best opportunities possible to not only compete at the top level every weekend but also enhance the sport through her work with the right partners.”
The team is already looking for the right sponsors to partner with Salinas and her goal is to make the NHRA’s version of the playoffs, the NHRA Countdown, in her first season.
Salinas began racing at the age of 15 in the Junior Dragster division. After college, Salinas began working for her family’s Top Fuel team as a Floater and Supercharger Assistant. She currently serves as the team’s General Manager and handles all day-to-day operations of the team.