Drag Illustrated Issue 179, November / December 2022 | Page 96



■ A YEAR after a harrowing crash in Top Alcohol Dragster in Gainesville , Jasmine Salinas showed how far she ’ s come by winning the Gatornationals in 2022 in what was one of the most inspirational moments of the weekend .
That remarkable redemption story has only spurred Salinas to greater heights this year , turning into the greatest season in her young career and a glimpse of what could be possible in future years . She claimed a North Central Region championship in Top Alcohol Dragster on the strength of four wins – Gainesville , Norwalk , Chicago , and Dallas – and eight final-round appearances , as Salinas ’ confidence skyrocketed after conquering Gainesville a year after her crash .
“ I learned so much coming back from my Gainesville crash ,” Salinas says . “ But the biggest lesson was that being fearless doesn ’ t mean you lack any fear or doubts . Being fearless means acknowledging your fears and doubts , and choosing to charge forward anyway . I had to learn to trust myself again and get comfortable pushing myself in moments of discomfort . But every time I pushed myself , I felt more and more capable .”
That ’ s been evident in nearly every aspect of her year , whether it ’ s her growing celebrity in the sport or her improving skills in the dragster . Salinas has remained in the thick of the championship hunt , thriving in the great family setting in the Team Scrappers / Pep Boys pits .
To find success and enjoy such a strong year , Salinas discovered a great deal about herself in the process . That ’ s made her wins and big moments that much more enjoyable , displaying growth in a number of ways .
“ I feel I improved the most as a driver by learning how to be a competitor ,” Salinas says . “ Because I had little racing experience compared to everyone else , I spent so long trying to learn how to drive the cars . Once I passed that threshold , I discovered the next level , which was competing .
I ’ m discovering more about myself , not only as a drag racer , but as a person in general . I ’ m finding I ’ m capable of a lot more than I ever could have imagined .”
Outside of wins and losses , and racing for championships , Salinas has also fully embraced her growing platform in the sport . It ’ s been an important part of her self-discovery journey and her star power has grown to an impressive level .
Being a strong role model and inspiration to others , especially as Salinas continues to move up the ranks and impact more and more people , is a role she takes seriously , knowing full well the kind of influence she can have on younger – or aspiring – drivers .
“ I ’ m most excited to see where my platform in drag racing takes me and who I have the potential to impact positively ,” Salinas says . “ I hope I ’ m able to do something good for the world through drag racing , even if that means inspiring or influencing just one person ’ s life . We all have such a unique opportunity to utilize our platform as a force for good beyond the world of drag racing .” – RYAN MURRAY DI
96 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 179