ATCO, N.J. (CBS)–Featuring a quarter-mile of non-stop thrills, the Atco Dragway has satisfied South Jersey’s need for speed for more than half a century.
This weekend’s NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series is sure to be one of the biggest events of the summer with more than 450 cars lined up.
“It’s all good but the alcohol cars tomorrow is going to be where it’s at,” says Atco race director DJ Balducci.
Named for the fuel they use, alcohol cars are among the fastest race cars in the world.
At 5 seconds down the track they’ll beat just about any muscle car, but you don’t have to be masculine to go fast.
“I’ve been 270 mph hour in this car,” says Karen Stalba who has been racing alcohol dragsters for more than 20 years.
The Mullica, NJ resident has won a lot of races and turned a lot of heads.
“There was a little boy somewhere and when his mom or dad told him I drove the car he was like, ‘no girls doing drive race cars.’ So then when he finally saw me run it he was like, ‘oh I can see you drive a race car now,’” recalls Stalba.
She learned racing from her dad, and with husband Tom who is also an accomplished racer, they’re passing the tradition to their 10-year-old son Paul.
“I think it’s cool because my mom’s kind of different from everybody else, I think it’s cool to have a cool and sporty mom,” says Paul Stalba who is leading his junior dragster division in points this summer.
Emily, 7, doesn’t have her mom’s racing itch, but Karen says that’ just fine because little girls shouldn’t worry about anyone’s expectations.
“So for any girl out there, you can choose what you want to do. You don’t have not do things because somebody looks at you funny,” says Stalba.
Karen is also an Ivy League educated engineer who works with her team on the dragsters.
You can see her race on Saturday starting at 9:30 a.m.
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