Rapids teen races her way to the top
By Kris Leonhardt
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – A Wisconsin Rapids teen has raced her way to the top, winning the 2018 Junior Dragster championship at the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Summit SuperSeries World Finals at Memphis International Raceway at the end of October.
The achievement came in Kyla Feit’s fourth year racing.
“I started racing when I was 10 years old, just a couple months before my 11th birthday,” said 14-year-old Feit.
“My grandpa, Randy O’Keefe, drag races. Months before I was born he bought me my first junior dragster in hopes one day I would want to race. Through the years they would ask me if I was interested and when I was 10 I wanted to give it a try. I’ve been hooked ever since.”
Feit said that she enjoys racing because it is something different from what the average kid her age normally does.
“It is also a complete 180 from my normal out of school activity which is dance,” she said. “I’ve been dancing since I was 3 years old. I am in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, and Modern at (Wisconsin Rapids School of Performing Arts.)”
She said that racing is a huge time commitment, with a season that runs from April through October.
“We compete regularly at two tracks in Wisconsin,” Kyla explained, “Great Lakes Dragway in Union Grove and Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna. When we are not competing at those tracks we sometimes travel to Rock Falls Raceway. Throughout the season we also like to compete in the Midwest Junior Super Series races. We’ve traveled numerous times to St. Louis, MO; Indianapolis, IN; Hebron, OH; Martin, MI; and Byron, IL to compete in those races.”
In order to qualify for the World Finals, Kyla needed to become a point champion at a track, which she achieved at Great Lakes Dragway. There, she competed against teens from all over the world to earn the Junior Dragster title.
Feit said that she plans to continue racing in junior dragster competition until she ages out at 18.
“After I’m 18 I can move up to a big car if I want,” she said. “I wouldn’t mind continuing racing in the future, but I have hopes to become either a lawyer or a dentist one day. Maybe there’s a way I can incorporate both.”