Audrey Worm made it official last Thursday at SEMA: she is now just the second-ever female owner/driver of an NHRA Top Fuel team. The Grantville, Pennsylvania racer made history with her announcement at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
History in the making
Worm’s bootstraps story has been a fascinating one throughout this NHRA racing season. After she picked up sponsorship from Strutmasters.com, Worm was able to participate in several Top Fuel races.
Right from the start, she made her goal of wanting to own her own racing team very clear. This past Thursday, she was able to formally reach that goal with her announcement.
This announcement would be historic enough on its own merit. Worm is just the second female owner/driver of a Top Fuel team in NHRA history. She is the first since Shirley Muldowney in the 1970s.
“As some people may or may not know, I am the second female owner/driver of a Top Fuel team in NHRA history,” Worm said at SEMA. “The first was the legend Shirley Muldowney. I just purchased and brought home my first Top Fuel car.”
Even more history made
However, Worm wasn’t finished making history on Thursday. She followed her announcement with another monumental announcement.
“I’m also the first to do something else,” Worm told reporters. “The really, really, really big news that we wanted to announce this [week] at SEMA that I’ll be the first Top Fuel team as the owner/driver and three women – women of power and really strong women – Ashley Fye will be my crew chief and Jenna Drake, formerly Jenna Haddock, will be my car chief.”
Both Fye and Drake have quality NHRA Top Fuel resumes.
Fye served as crew chief to Scott Palmer in the early stages of his Top Fuel racing career. Drake is a former Top Fuel dragster racer and has competed in 15 national-level events. She notably upset Tony Schumacher in 2014 for a round win.
How it came together
Drake will be quite familiar with Worm’s dragster. It is the dragster she drove during her racing tenure, an ex-Anton Brown/Don Schumacher Racing chassis.
Worm credits the help of friends, family and supporters with helping her realize her ownership dream.
“I am so blessed to have the support not only friends and family, and my amazing husband Aaron Grant but also from great sponsors,” said Worm. “I would like to thank Chip Lofton at Strutmasters.com, William Francis and Kenny from Burromax, Cody from Sisson Engineering, Hap Whitlock from Hi-tech cam, Howie O’Neil, Leonard Long from G-Force Shifters, PennGrade, Duane A. Junker from Gates, Millerweld, Jim Novinger, Carrie Willhoff at Racechick, Jim Michaud, Heidi Jordan and Robert Jordan, all my RACEFAN members, and all the individuals who contributed money for making my dream come true!”
Looking ahead to 2020
With the excitement of Worm’s history-making announcement behind her, the Top Fuel owner and racer already has her sights set on making waves next season.
The team has penciled in a nine race schedule for the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour. They are also looking into adding even more dates to their calendar.
“We plan to run mostly on the East Coast, and have a commitment from our anchor sponsor Strutmasters.com,” said Worm. “I am so excited to own my own team, and can’t wait for the 2020 season, where we hope to show the boys what girl power looks like.”
Judging from the buzz that has surrounded her announcement, the racing world can’t wait either.