Nikki Dunn Makes the Switch from Drag Racing to Dirt Track and is Hooked

       Printer Image
Drag racing since a young age, nursing student, Nikki Dunn , has recently acquired a burning passion for dirt-track racing
Drag racing since a young age, nursing student, Nikki Dunn , has recently acquired a burning passion for dirt-track racing
While attending nursing school in her home town of Hot Springs, Arkansas, Nikki Dunn appears as a typical young female with typical aspirations. When class is over though, Dunn enters a world where few women dare to go - the world of racing!

Growing up in a drag racing family, Dunn is no stranger to the mindset of spending the weekend at the track. In fact, Dunn also acutely understands what it takes to line up against a fellow driver and embark in a little friendly competition, as she has been drag racing for several years.

Although a passion for drag racing is instilled in the young driver, she recently turned over a new leaf. You got it, she experienced her first taste of dirt track racing. And it didn’t take many laps for Dunn to become hooked.

“I’ve always loved dirt track racing,” explained Dunn. “Dirt track racing is way different from drag racing. In drag racing, there are only two cars, but in dirt track there are up to seventy-five cars on the track at once. The hardest thing for me to learn is how to drive the turns right.”

Racing in the Enduro class, Dunn will have ample opportunity to practice navigating turns. In fact, she and her passenger begin each race with 200 laps in front of them or as many as they can complete in two hours.
Nikki Dunn and her crew “freshens the motor” and prepares her car with a new coat of paint prior to every race
Nikki Dunn and her crew “freshens the motor” and prepares her car with a new coat of paint prior to every race

The driver has competed in two enduro races thus far, and has already learned how the rigors of dirt track have an adverse effect on one’s car. Seventy-five laps into her premier event, Dunn’s engine overheated, and in turn had to be rebuilt. The following race was also tainted with mechanical problems in lap eighty-five, when her car died and wouldn’t start.

When asked her strong point as a driver, Dunn said, “Knowing how to control the car. I feel like my drag racing career taught me to control the car easily. My drag racing experience has been good for me, because it has taken my nerves down. When I get in the car, I’m not as scared as I used to be. Also, with drag racing, I’ve learned how to work on cars more and I know more about them.”

With any endeavor, success comes to those who realize their faults and strive to conquer them. Although new to the sport of dirt track racing Nikki Dunn is perfectly aware of her weak points as a driver and is eager to improve.

“I feel like I have so many weak points right now. I am still new to the dirt track world,” she commented. “I just need to learn more about how to drive in a turn, and not to get scared when I’m in turns with other cars. I think the key to success is to just work hard and practice my driving skills as much as I can, so I can get the driving pattern down, and know how to race well.”

Although new to the dirt track scene, Nikki Dunn’s experience as a drag racer has taught her important aspects of the sport, other than driving. Referring to the importance of her crew, she said, “I consider my team a very important part of my racing. If I did not have them, I would not be where I am now. They’ve helped me keep my car together, and also were the ones who gave me the car. They are responsible for me being able to run at the races.”

Dunn is also aware that maintenance is an essential element of the game, and is a strong advocate of using K&N products for her filtering needs.

“I feel that maintenance has played a huge part in my racing,” she explained. “Before each race, we always have to freshen the motor and put a fresh coat of paint on the car. I have always had a K&N filter on my race car and have loved it,” Dunn continued. “Their products have made a huge difference in my daily driving as well, because it has improved my gas mileage.”

Nikki Dunn is still young in the sport of racing and has many years of fun and excitement waiting in the future. Referring to her plans in the world of racing she said, “I plan to keep dirt track racing. We are getting a mini-sprint, so I will be driving that next year, as well as my enduro car. My dad has also talked about getting another drag car, and letting me run it. I would love to be able to do both, but I love dirt track racing so much more, because it’s a longer race.”

When asked what her fans can expect in the future, Nikki Dunn said, “Fans can expect so much from Nikki Dunn in the next few years! I will be racing a mini-sprint next season. Hopefully, in the next few years, I’ll be racing worldwide, and hope to one day make it to the “Chili Bowl” and race with the big-time drivers.”

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

Horizontal Advertisement

Did you like this story? Select 1 to 5 stars to rate it.

K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit