The 2016 season was a historic one for drag racer Mia Tedesco as the 22-year-old from Pittsburgh became the first female national champion in the ultra-competitive Super Gas category of the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
Tedesco and crew chief Jason Lynch got the job done with a steady string of performances in the CARS Protection Plus/VP Racing Fuels Super Gas Chevrolet Cavalier, both at the divisional and national levels. They competed at 18 races in total to outlast John Taylor, Steven Furr, Tommy Phillips and a host of other top drivers to take the category's top prize.
Her march to the top of the drag racing world was highlighted by two huge wins at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago, where she won the divisional race on June 5 and returned a month later to capture the trophy at the national event on July 10. Those two victories also helped her clinch the Division 3 Super Gas championship.
Remarkably, Tedesco raced another car all year as well -- the 275-mph CARS Protection Plus/Schepel Motors/NGK/Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Dragster -- where she earned an eighth place finish in the national points. That run into the top 10 was boosted by three impressive regional victories in Gainesville, Fla., St. Louis and Columbus, Ohio, that helped her clinch the North Central Region Top Alcohol Dragster title for the second year in a row.
Known as "Miss Mia" to her friends and fans, Tedesco plans for more of the same in 2017, and with the title of world champion now attached to her name, she knows it won't be easy to defend her title. However, with the support of her family, a strong faith in God and competition experience in five different classes, she won't be easily stopped.
Faith and family are vitally important to Tedesco. She began drag racing when she was 8 at Pittsburgh Raceway Park, a track owned by her father Michael Tedesco. It was her Uncle Carmen who convinced his niece to grab a helmet and firesuit and to get behind the wheel of a race car. A lifelong drag racing fanatic, Uncle Carmen was Mia's biggest fan until his passing in 2015.
"My family has always been very involved in my racing," Tedesco said. "We all enjoy spending time with each other whether we’re at the track or at home. It’s a great feeling to know I have their support in everything I do, including racing.
"Along with my family, my faith is super important to me, and that’s never going to change.
"Winning the Super Gas championship and being the first girl to do it in 65 years of organized drag racing, that's really special and something we're all proud of, for sure. What's better is that it all happened because we work so well together."
Category: Top Alcohol Dragster, Super Gas
2016 Super Gas champion; first female to win in 65 years of organized drag racing.
Names L to R: Cindy Tedesco, Michael Tedesco, Felicia Guerrieri, Chiyo Hirata, Ken Hirata, Andrew Price, Mia Tedesco, Jason Lynch, Jason Oteri, Chris Price, Connie Price, Rachel Travisano, Scott Draxinger. [Photo Credit: Auto Imagery]
Michael Tedesco has been in the car business for over 40 years. Started CARS Protection Plus in 1998 and in 2015 partnered with Summit Investment Group to expand the company.
Raced 6 cylinder modified cars at a local dirt track.
Owner of Pittsburgh Raceway Park since 2001.
Residence: Pittsburgh, Penn.
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Penn.
Date of Birth: January 5, 1994
Hobbies: Training at the gym, cheering for the Pittsburgh Penguins, listening to country music.
Notable: Began drag racing at age eight after her father purchased Pittsburgh Raceway Park.
aka "Krusty"...read more about Jason in this article by DragCoverage.com.
Hirata was named a regional Mechanic of the Year in 2014 for his work on Tedesco’s cars in the Top Alcohol class.
He has five career wins to his name in the Alcohol Dragster category after starting to race later in life than most of his competitors.
After lending his car to Mia in 2011 at the Winter Series in Florida, Jason joined the Tedesco Racing team that same year. Since then, he has managed the team, maintained the entire Tedesco Racing fleet, and mentored Mia.
2014: Raced to divisional victory in Bowling Green (TAD)
2013: Raced to first NHRA victory in Atlanta (SG); Raced to divisional victory in Bowling Green (SC)
2016 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
2015 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
2015 points finish: 4th nationally, Northeast Division champion
Best points finish: 4th (2015)
First start: Orlando, 2012 (Super Comp, divisional)
Career-best elapsed time: 5.192 seconds (TAD, Gainesville, 2016)
Career-best speed: 280.06 mph (TAD, Gainesville, 2016)
2016 cars: CARS Protection Plus/Schepel Motors/NGK/Lucas Oil dragster, CARS Protection Plus/VP Racing Fuels Chevrolet Cavalier