Florida Tech’s Shea Holbrook Wins First Jet Dragster Race
Victory Follows Season of Steady Improvement
MELBOURNE, FLA. — Shea Holbrook, Florida Institute of Technology’s rookie jet dragster driver, won the university racing team’s first national event on Sept. 27 when she defeated Elaine Larsen in the finals of the San Antonio Nationals Fueled by Sunoco.
Holbrook’s finals victory followed her win against Kat Moller in the first round of eliminations. In both instances, Holbrook won on hole-shots – when the winning driver posts a slower elapsed time for the race overall but still prevails because of a faster reaction time when the starting light goes green.
“We may have been a long way from home,” said Holbrook, a Florida resident, “but San Antonio now holds a special place in our hearts as we took our first win for Florida Tech in its inaugural year with the jet dragster program. I look forward to building on this victory.”
Team co-owner Chris Larsen added, “I am very proud of the entire Florida Institute of Technology jet racing team. Even with the challenges of a new car, engine package and driver, the team has proven it can run with the seasoned pros.”
Holbrook, who won both races at a top speed of 268.98 mph, was not the only winner among the Larsen Motorsports drivers.
With her second-place finish, team co-owner Elaine Larsen clinched her second consecutive IHRA Nitro Jam World Championship in her Miller Welding jet dragster. She has four wins and five runner-up finishes in the 2015 season.
Larsen’s victory has a Florida Tech connection, too: Her crew chief, Paige Sanchez, is earning her master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Florida Tech, where she also heads the Special Projects Lab at the Larsen Motorsports High-Performance Vehicle Research and Development Center.
The final event of the IHRA Nitro Jam season is the Summit Racing Equipment World Finals featuring Nitro Jam at Memphis International Raceway on Oct. 9-10. For more information on the race, visit www.nitrojam.com. For more about the Florida Tech Jet Dragster, visit http://jetdragster.fit.edu.