Jeffrey & Lindsey Barker
keep things interesting
By Ainsley Jacobs
42 | D r a g
I l l u s t r a t e d | DragIllustrated.com
2015, the Atlanta national NHRA event three
times, and the NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals in 2009.”
In 2015, however, Jeffrey won his most prestigious title when he claimed the inaugural 2015
NHRA Top Sportsman national championship.
He accomplished the feat by scoring wins at four
events along with three runner-up finishes.
It’s hard to top a national championship, but
Jeffrey’s most memorable win was actually at
a divisional race in Gainesville, Florida, in the
late 2000s. “It was the first time me and my dad
[Jerry Barker] raced each other in the finals,” he
reminisces – a matchup Jeffrey wound up winning. “We wound up racing a few times over the
years, but he never beat me. I’m not saying he
couldn’t beat me, he just didn’t. We both always
went all out for it, and it was a lot of fun.”
The husband and wife Barker duo’s legacy is
comprised of more than just Jeffrey’s successes,
however. Lindsay, too, has quite an impressive
résumé, including multiple wins.
“I won a lot of divisional races when I was
younger, and won the NHRA Gatornationals
when I was 17 or 18,” she says. “When you’re young
and it happens so quick, you think it’s easy peasy.
Then you realize it’s not.”
She did a quick stint racing alcohol dragsters
around 2007, and won the NHRA Southern
Nationals for Top Dragster in 2015. “It was so
exciting when I won last year,” exclaims Lindsey.
“Jeffrey was in the finals at that race, too, but he
lost. Then we went to Bowling Green, Kentucky,
for the divisional race at Beech Bend Raceway
PHOTOS: NHRA / NATIONAL DRAGSTER, PRO SPORTSMAN ASSOCIATION
he couple that races together
stays together. Sometimes sharing a
passion with a spouse can cause conflict, especially when both are highly
competitive and seeking success. For Jeffrey and
Lindsey Barker, however, their mutual love of
drag racing not only keeps them close, it’s what
brought them together in the first place.
Back in the early 2000s, the two crossed paths
at Silver Dollar Raceway in Reynolds, Georgia.
“I had a friend there who knew Lindsey, and we
wound up meeting. Over the next year or so, I’d
go to divisional races and I’d go snoopin’ around
her pit area,” admits Jeffrey, who was immediately
smitten with Lindsey.
“I didn’t want anything to do with him at first,
but he wouldn’t stop calling and we finally went
out on some dates,” she adds, glad that she eventually gave in to Jeffrey’s persistence. With two distinctly different personalities – she’s quiet while
he’s outgoing – the two complimented each other
perfectly, and in 2010, they said their vows and
committed their lives to one another.
Jeffrey came from a drag racing family, as his
parents once owned the now-defunct WarnerRobins Dragway in Georgia. He started with junior dragsters when he was just nine years old,
but once his family’s track closed, he took a hiatus
until high school. At that point, Jeffrey picked up
where he left off.
“I did some street car stuff and some grudge
racing, and when I turned 16, I got my license in
Super Gas and was doing bracket racing as well,”
he recalls. Meanwhile, Lindsay also had family
ties to racing as her father had been involved
for years and piqued her interest as a child. She
started racing when she was ten, also in junior
dragsters, and began bracket racing and Super
Gas racing when she was about seventeen. Based
on their pasts, it’s no surprise the two wound
Jeffrey ran his first NHRA divisional race in
his late teens in Gainesville, Florida, and made it
all the way to the Super Gas semifinals. In 2003,
after picking up a win in Super Gas at a national
event, he moved to Top Sportsman and immediately found success with a win during the Citrus
Nationals at Palm Beach International Raceway
in Florida. Jeffrey was named Rookie of the Year
that season for the NHRA Southeast division.
Over the years, Jeffrey racked up an incredible number of championships, including seven
total NHRA Division II Top Sportsman titles in
2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Although he’s not quick to boast, Jeffrey readily
admits, “I’ve won roughly seventeen Top Sportsman divisional races, one in Super Comp and one
in Super Gas. I won the JEGS All-Stars race in