Pittsburg, PA: Mia Tedesco burst onto the national sportsman drag racing scene in late 2011 thanks to a strong showing at the Million Dollar Drag Race and a $10,000 victory at the prestigious 5-Day Bracket Championships at Palm Beach International Raceway. Mia, who will graduate high school this weekend, is part of the C.A.R.S. Protection Plus/Tedesco Racing team that has expanded exponentially since last November. The team brought on multi-time world champion driver Jason Lynch as a team manager. Lynch’s role includes that of manager, driver, crew chief, and coach for young Tedesco. Tedesco Racing also took delivery of four new competition vehicles over the winter; three American Race Cars dragsters and a Charlie Stewart Race Cars Corvette Roadster.
While the new team and unfamiliar equipment brought an expected learning curve, 18-year-old Tedesco is already enjoying another stellar season. She kicked off the 2012 campaign with a runner-up finish in Super Comp at the NHRA Division 2 LODRS event in Gainesville, FL (only her second NHRA event). She competed in her first NHRA national event at the same facility a month later, and has gained valuable seat time in various forms of competition throughout the season.
“We do a little bit of everything,” Tedesco explained. “I guess our top priority is NHRA competition, where I compete in Super Comp and Top Dragster. But we try to attend as many bracket events as possible. I enjoy that the most just because I get to make so many passes down the track. At this point I feel like that’s what I need more than anything. Plus we run a handful of IHRA events as well. We’ve raced nearly every weekend since early February.”
In the last two weeks, that seat time and experience has begun to pay huge dividends. On Memorial Day weekend, the C.A.R.S. Protection Plus/Tedesco Racing Team made their way to I-57 Dragstrip in Benton, IL for a Mega Bucks bracket event. There, Mia earned her first victory of the 2012 season when she claimed the top prize in Super Pro during Sunday’s event.
Her roll continued last weekend, as the team made its way to their home track, Pittsburg Raceway Park, for the IHRA double-header weekend featuring an IHRA Nitro Jam and Summit Pro-Am event. There, Mia gave the hometown fans reason to cheer by defeating her teammate and mentor Lynch in the semi-final round of Top Dragster before falling to Kevin Romeo in the Nitro Jam finale. Her weekend was not done yet, however, as she would return to the final stanza a day later, this time in Quick Rod, but would once again be denied, falling to Ed McCleaft. The runner-up finish marked her third final round appearance in a week’s time.
“I’ve just been trying to soak in everything that I’ve been taught all season,” Tedesco said. “Jason Lynch and his family have basically taken me in as one of their own, and he’s taught me so much about this sport. I’m incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from someone who is not only experienced and talented, but also extremely patient. Luke Bogacki is part of our team too. I’m really fortunate to be surrounded by excellent mentors and teachers. Luke met us at I-57 several hours before the race there and basically put Jason’s daughter Kayla and me through an abbreviated version of one of his ThisIsBracketRacing.com schools. We talked a lot about the potential advantages of ‘holding’ some ET and driving the finish line, versus dialing honest. He and Jason both challenged me to drive the finish line all weekend. I’m not going to say that I’ve got it mastered by any means, but I got lucky and won, so it’s definitely changed my outlook!”
“In Pittsburg, I started off dialing pretty honest, but I think I like holding a little better! Jason and I talked about dial-ins and strategies before every round, and I ended up driving the finish line about every time. I lost in the final Saturday because I was late, it was a pretty good race though, and my hat‘s off to Kevin and his car owner, Mr. Bob. Then on Sunday we had mechanical problems in the final, so I was really slow. It would’ve been awesome to win a big race at home in Pittsburg, but I’m really happy with my success. I owe it all to Jason and Luke, and of course my parents for supporting my passion in racing.”
Mia and the Tedesco Racing Team are backed by C.A.R.S. Protection Plus. C.A.R.S. Protection Plus is a Pittsburgh based company that offers a complete line of limited warranties to meet the specific needs of pre-owned vehicle owners nationwide.
For more information, visit
www.CarsProtectionPlus.com. In addition to the staff at C.A.R.S., Mia wished to recognize the hard work of Jason Oteri and Brad Demitras of the Tedesco Racing Team, as well as the entire Lynch family for their role in her success. She also continues to emphasize that her goals of on track improvement and to be a light for God are not necessarily tied to her success.
“I’m having the time of my life, and I’m trying to set a good example. Obviously everyone wants to win, and I’m no different; but I realize that not everyone gets this type of opportunity, and I’m trying to relish every second of it,” she said.
The C.A.R.S. team will be in Bowling Green, KY this weekend for the JEGS U.S. Open Bracket Championships, but Mia will miss the event. It seems she has a pesky little life experience known as the Franklin Regional Senior High School Graduation to tend to this weekend! Mia will be back on track June 15-17 for the NHRA FORD Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, TN. The team will go from there to the Ultimate 64 Shootout, a major event on the big bucks bracket calendar, the following weekend.
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