By Sean Rooney on May 26, 2018.
It’s going to get loud at Medicine Hat’s drag strip and speedway this weekend, but one ride has dibs on loudest.
As both local auto racing associations pull out the green flag (or light) on their respective seasons, Calgary drag racer Kelly Fedorowich and her Dark Side Racing squad will get a couple runs in on the quarter-mile.
With 10,000 horsepower and the ability to reach 480 kilometres per hour in four seconds, her top fuel car is not your average dragster.
“The burnouts are great fun but your brain has to be able to catch up to the G-force,” said Fedorowich. “They say it’s five G’s when you hit the throttle, and when you hit the parachutes it’s a negative-five G.”
She’s the first woman to pilot a top fuel model in Canada and the goal is to get her into the NHRA circuit. But first she’s got to complete a training program —don’t expect her runs to last more than a couple seconds of acceleration on Saturday or Sunday.
“In the process of becoming a top fuel pilot, I’m going through the training process,” said Fedorowich.”It’s becoming accustomed to the launch.”
Like other racers, this is early-season work so there will be a lot of tinkering going on behind the scenes. Dark Side invites fans to come back to their pit area and see first-hand. Kelly’s husband David has raced top fuel for decades and her son Nikolas is part of the team too.
If all goes well the Dark Side team will get to race in Seattle this summer. But first thing’s first. Weekends like the one in Medicine Hat are big not just for tuning but also getting the word out and making business relationships — it’s not cheap to have a top fuel dragster.
“We’re going to make as much noise as we can and put on a show,” said Kelly. “It’s the opening event of the season so we’ve all been out of race day, away from tracks for six months! It’s time.”
Racing started with the Friday Night Street Legal night at the drag strip. Bracket racing begins Saturday at noon and Sunday at 10 a.m.
Later in the evening, 6:30 p.m. or so, the Medicine Hat Auto Racing Association begins with Legends, Renegade Trucks, Elite Street Stocks and Hobby Stock classes.