Drag Illustrated Issue 179, November / December 2022 | Page 138


■ IT WAS NATURAL for Jay Boddie Jr . to get involved with drag racing . He is a third-generation racer and was hooked the moment he got in the car . After all , his dad , Jay Boddie , is an infamous West Coast outlaw racer who made his way to the hit TV show Street Outlaws : No Prep Kings .
The youngest Boddie ’ s racing career started after high school as he competitively pursued and excelled in sports . However , he always knew that he wanted to drag race , and it wasn ’ t long after he graduated Boddie got his chance .
“ My dad got me my first car ,” Boddie says . “ It was a 2002 Firebird . It had a small-block Chevy motor . It was a 426 with a nitrous kit on it . The first day I got it , I was hooked , and that was in 2014 .”
Boddie quickly made a name for himself in the grudge and radial racing scene while attending college for four years . After college , Boddie caught the attention of NPK producer Sam Korkis . He got invited to race on the show , but Boddie was balancing work and school , plus trying to race . “ I couldn ’ t initially do it because I got into an apprenticeship for engineering right after I
got done with college ,” he says .
Boddie kept his sights set on his apprenticeship program , but when he finished , he answered the NPK call . This past year was his first season on the reality-based drag racing series . He finished 21st after missing several races and feels like it was a good learning experience .
“ We got a good taste of what it takes to be in that top running , and we got some work to do , but we have a fast car . I feel like we need to get our program down better . We ’ re racing against million-dollar teams out there ,” Boddie says . “ These guys got pro tuners . I got badass tuners , too : Patrick Barnhill and Jason Lee .”
Next year , Boddie wants to be a household NPK name and beat three-time and defending series champion Ryan Martin . The 27-year-old believes that he , his car , and his team have what it takes to fulfill his goals . “ I feel like we ’ re a top 10 car . I know if we get our program together , we could be front runners ,” he says , explaining that his long-term goal is to continue with NPK .
Boddie Jr . is grateful to be competing at the level he does with his dad , even if it means pulling his 67 ’ Camaro with a ProCharged Brad Anderson Hemi up to the starting line against his father .
“ My dad has made Team Boddie what it is today . It is just a blessing to be racing with my dad out there ,” Boddie says , thanking his support system . “ Marty Robertson has been a big , instrumental part in getting my program out there this year . My family , my lady , my son , my father , my grandfather – I feel like I wouldn ’ t be doing this without them .” – KAYLA ZADEL DI


■ SARA SLAUGHTER didn ’ t grow up around drag racing and admittedly wasn ’ t well-versed in the sport before getting involved in 2016 . But with undeniable work ethic and determination , her skills have made Slaughter a perfect fit for it . She ’ s now the Public Relations Director for John
Force Racing , carving out an impressive spot in the frenetic world of NHRA drag racing .
She joins current JFR Top Fuel drivers Brittany Force and Austin Prock – as well as former Funny Car star Courtney Force – as Drag
IllustrateD 30 Under 30 members , becoming a force in her own right in the racing public relations world .
“ The way I look at it , I want to make sure the drivers always look their best , whether it ’ s on television , in a newspaper article , a photo , hero cards or whatever it might be ,” Slaughter says . “ PR is really my passion and I feel like that ’ s my bread and butter . To be on this list , other people have seen the hard work I ’ ve put in and I appreciate it . Not everybody makes this list , so to be on it makes me really happy .”
With Slaughter ’ s help , JFR continues to reign supreme when it comes to popularity in the sport . She came on board with the organization in December of 2017 after a two-year stint as a media relations manager in NHRA . Before that , Slaughter ’ s knowledge of the sport was limited , but she had proven to be a strong writer ( working at the Press-Enterprise during and after graduating from UC-Riverside ) and problem solver .
It suited her well and she ’ s thrived in the drag racing world , finding creative solutions to spread the word about her drivers . That comes from knowing her drivers well , not taking no for an answer when it comes to her pitches , and following through on ideas until they come to life .
“ I spend so much time with the team and the drivers , I ’ ve been able to learn their personalities and what fits them . I know who can do a morning show , or who can do something else ,” Slaughter shares . “ Building relationships and being observant is important , and all of the drivers have their own strong , distinct personalities .
“ I ’ m passionate about getting the job done ,” she continues , “ but also making sure they get good exposure , they look good doing it , and are properly prepared ahead of time . All of that is really important to me .”
Throughout her time at JFR , Slaughter ’ s skills have stretch into other areas as well , including social media and general team support / management , adding to her well-rounded array of skills .
Along the way , she ’ s found a strong passion for drag racing and spreading the word about the sports and its talented drivers .
“ What I love about it is definitely the people and the teams ,” Slaughter says . “ It ’ s definitely competitive and everyone is out there to win , but it ’ s also a family out here . Everyone is down to earth and they know how important the fans are , and they understand promoting themselves is also promoting the sport .” – RYAN MURRAY DI
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