Teen Girl from Puyallup, Washington in Driver's Seat

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Jeannine Johnson gives the boys a run for their money.  After racing six years in a junior dragster, Jeannine enters her first season driving her Super Comp dragster.  “A lot of the people in some of the classes I race are older men in their 40s and 50s,” said the just barely 17-year-old of Puyallup, Washington.

Jeannine Johnson's Super Comp Dragster Jeannine Johnson's Super Comp Dragster
Jeannine Johnson's Super Comp Dragster
Jeannine Johnson's Super Comp Dragster
“She is one of our young racers,” said Tracy Tronson, drag strip manager at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington, where Jeannine frequents. “She’s an up and coming star.  She tries real hard.”

Jeannine drives a brand new dragster, bought with the support of Microsoft. Jeannine was a finalist in the computer software company’s “Start Something Amazing Campaign,” where she earned notice by company officials. “It’s one of our nicer cars,” Tronson said.

“This season, actually, I’m just hoping to learn to drive my car,” said the young driver with realistic goals.  “I hope to gain experience and work to do well the following year.”

“I’m hoping she doesn’t go fast.  I don’t want her to go fast,” Tronson said of the young driver.  “I want her to get some seat time.  I want her to get bored with her car, get to know her car, then she can go fast.  Too many things can go wrong.”

What ever her future track brings, Jeannine will never forget one of her junior years.  She recorded a “perfect package” in 2003 — the first female in junior drag racing to do so.  She matched her index time down the track and recorded shorter than five-thousands of a second on her reaction time to the starting light on the tree.

Jeannine’s early runs in April at the NHRA Northwest National Open at Pacific, started with tire spinning and no traction then with lifting because of too much traction.  “The car has a faster setup shift — there are so many new things I have to learn,” Jeannine said. Hopefully, by the end of the season, I’ll get in a routine, and next year, I’ll win a race or a round.”

Jeannine Johnson
Jeannine Johnson
Her car was sent to the garage in early May after a fire started when the transmission line broke, and problems continue.  But the men and the fire won’t slow her down.  Jeannine plans to race in several Saturday night events this summer at Pacific.  “(Fellow drivers) are actually really nice,” Jeaninne said.  “They give me advice; they’re coming up to me left and right.  They seem pretty happy to have a new driver, someone they could teach.  And I just love that.”

“I didn’t even know I was on fire until the fire crew came up and told me to get out of the car,” Jeannine said of the fire in May.  “It was kind of a thrill.” Extended family members at the track didn’t find it as thrilling, however, Johnson said.  They were scared.

“It’s actually hard for me to get in and out of my car because I’m so small — 4-foot-11 small, in fact — and the windshield is high. I found out I could get out if I really needed to,” Jeannine said.

Jeannine’s blood has run with racing since she was 3 years old. Her father Bill Johnson raced a 1979 Camaro and took his daughter to the racetrack. She started then asking her parents for a car — a junior dragster with a lawnmower-type engine. She started racing on her own at age 9.

When she earned her Washington state driver’s license last year, Jeannine attended NHRA Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School in California and became certified to drive her Supercar.

Jeannine uses K&N products “definitely in my dragster,” she said, “and we use them in our street cars at home.” Her dragster runs K&N’s air filter 28-4155 and oil filter HP-5001, reported Bill Johnson, his daughter’s race manager. Jeannine runs K&N’s 33-2035 air filter and HP-2002 oil filter in her 1991 Corvette, and Bill uses the 57-3021-1 FIPK air intake and the HP-2006 oil filter in his 2001 Chevy Silverado 1500.

“They make my cars go fast,” Jeannine said of her K&N products. “They bring good air into my car.” The more air the engine has available, the more horsepower it can make and the quicker the throttle responds, both essential to Jeannine when competing in her dragster. Throttle response is measured by the amount of delay or hesitation the car exhibits when the gas pedal is pressed and when the engine responds by delivering power. And the barely 17-year-old changes the K&N filters herself — her dad confirmed it. Each of K&N’s canister-type automotive oil filters comes with a 1-inch nut welded to the top of the canister, so they easily can be wrenched-off with a standard tool. “The oil filters are really easy to get out of my car,” Jeannine said. “They’re really convenient.”

Follow Jeannine Johnson's progress on the K&N news site.  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 near you.

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail, or visit