Drag Illustrated Issue 180, January / February 2023 | Page 57

Special Section
A BIG WIN at the season opener in her native North Carolina made Tisha Wilson the points leader in Lucas Oil Top Dragster presented by Laris Motorsports Insurance to start the season . Strong late-round performances through the rest of the year made her the 2022 world champion . She drove her supercharged Wilkins-powered ’ 01 Undercover dragster to the semifinals at Maryland before scoring a runner-up finish at Maple Grove , where she went red by just . 002 in the final round . Though she missed one race , she held off her closest challenger , Frank Falter IV , by over four rounds .
During her banquet speech , Wilson talked about her upbringing in the sport and the experiences that led to her championship .
“ One of the things that I really wanted to relay tonight to the kids , there was a lesson I learned when I was bout 13-14 working for the Hartman family ,” Wilson began . “ One of the things Virgil Hartman taught me at a
young age was , ‘ Talk less and listen more . If you ’ re mouth ’ s moving , you can ’ t learn .’ Kids , as you grow and you get your opportunities , take the time to listen because it pays off in the end , just like tonight .”
VIRGINIA ’ S CHRIS SUPPERS has been a consistent hitter in Coolshirt Systems Pro Jr . Dragster presented by PRP for multiple seasons , but he took things to a new level in 2022 . He picked up wins at Bowling Green and the summer Virginia race , adding a runner-up at Maryland as well , to secure the world championship . Suppers was also the runner-up at the non-points ProStars race . Another impressive feat was qualifying at every race , making him the only driver in the top 5 that made it to eliminations at all seven contested races .
“ To my dad , I wish I could show you how much I appreciate you for all you do ,” Suppers said in his banquet speech , also mentioning a slew of family , friends , and supporters . “ I see how hard you work for us to do this . Thank you for teaching us everything you know and always reminding us that honesty and doing things the right way is what matters the most in the end . This isn ’ t my trophy or championship , it ’ s ours .”
CONSISTENCY IS ONE of the main factors that led to Hannah Sheppard ’ s Classic Graphix Top Jr . Dragster presented by PRP world championship . Other than two first-round exits , Sheppard went rounds everywhere she went . Driving her Sheppard Racing entry , the Dinwiddie , Virginiabased driver earned one win and two runner-up finishes in points competition along with a big ProStars win . She was also the No . 1 qualifier at the Maple Grove race , where she went on to win . Sheppard clinched at the World Finals , fending off Carter Jackson and Gavin Wood .
“ This means the world to me ,” said Sheppard , who thanked the Lord , parents Trey and Ashley , brother Ashton , and sponsors Lynns Body & Paint , Sutherland Sporting Goods , and Affordable Glass . “ I have worked so hard this year going from an 11.90 to an 8.90 . I went to two finals with my 11.90 car then switched and won ProStars and Pennsylvania . I ’ m so happy to end the season as champion .”
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