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Paige, 13, no average teen racer

2012-07-20 10:38

AGE IS JUST A NUMBER: 13-year old Paige Wheeler is off to compete with American and Canadian counterparts in the NHRA junior drag racing league in Bristol, Tennessee.

 
While some teenage girls fret over their hair and worry about their "image", 13-year old Paige Wheeler is tearing up the track in her drag racer.

Wheeler is one of the UK’s leading junior drag racers and is soon to jet off to Bristol in Tennessee in the US to race in the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League. She is set to take on 800 of her American and Candadian counterparts in the finals.

In England, Paige and her eight-year-old sister, Belle, race American drag racers, custom-built for them by Half Scale Dragsters Inc.

EYE ON THE PRIZE

For the trip to Bristol, Half Scale is lending Paige a new car, which she must get to grips with quickly if she is to attain any success.

“I’m excited about going, but not at all nervous,” Paige said ahead of departing for the US. “I raced at Bristol for the first time last year (2011), and managed to win a few rounds, so I know what it will be like.”

Paige will be competing in three separate races over ten days at Bristol, culminating in the world’s largest Junior Dragster event. Although the UK season is good preparation for this trip, Paige only has a few events a year to hone her skills at home compared to the US and Canadian dragsters that compete almost every weekend.

Weather conditions will also be a factor. It’s a hot, high pressure event, but she’s not daunted, “I’ll let everyone else worry about that. I just want to get to Bristol and race.”

Paige's dad, Andy Wheeler, is grateful for the opportunity his daughter is receiving.

“Competing in Bristol is an amazing opportunity for Paige. She’s currently fourth in the UK national championship, so we’ve got everything to play for. Paige is focused and we’re hoping she can hold her own in Tennessee,” Andy said.

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