Photo by Talaina Fisher
Isabella Scofield holds tight to her “Wally,” the prestigious trophy awarded to drag racers in all age groups who reach the top of their category in the National Hot Rod Association.
Photo courtesy of TJ Scofield
Winslow junior drag racers include (left to right) Reanna Walton, Domonick Scofield, Isabella Scofield, Sam Hartnett, Brady Hartnett, Chyene Lowry, (not pictured) Zack Hartnett, Brooke Marquez, Monique Lowry and Aylissa Barton.
By Linda Kor
A young Winslow girl is leaving her mark on the junior drag racing circuit after posting a significant win in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).
Isabella Scofield was honored earlier this month at the NHRA Division 7 awards banquet in Las Vegas, Nev., for her championship win in the 6 to 9-year-old category at the 2015 NHRA Junior Drag Racing Western Conference Finals held in Salt Lake City, Utah, last July.
Isabella, who just turned 10, outperformed 65 kids from around the western United States to take home the NHRA’s top trophy, affectionately known as a “Wally” in honor of the late NHRA founder Wally Parks. According to the NHRA, the trophy, which can be won in each racing division, is the ultimate quest for every drag racer, from the weekend warrior Super Street competitors to the 7,000-horsepower gladiators in Top Fuel.
The course for the junior dragsters is an eighth-mile long and the kids hit speeds of up to 75 mph. When asked if racing had made her the envy of all her classmates, Isabella nodded and with a big smile responded, “Oh, yeah.” But racing isn’t something new to the Scofields. Isabella comes from a long line of racers. Her dad TJ is a drag racer and his father raced in the 1950s and 1960s.
Isabella isn’t the only young racer in Winslow, though. The city has the largest gathering of racers per capita in the state with 10 kids who compete in the western division. According to TJ, the parents were all involved in racing and as their kids got older, they shared their love for the sport and it has caught on. “We all raced on our own, but now we put our efforts into our kids,” he said.
Other Winslow youngsters involved in the junior drag racing circuit include Zack Hartnett, Brooke Marquez, Monique Lowry, Aylissa Barton, Sam Hartnett, Chyene Lowry, Reanna Walton, Brady Hartnett and Isabella’s brother, Domonick Scofield.
Isabella is looking forward to her first race of 2016 on Jan. 23 in Chandler. Her team, Eme’s Army Racing, is named after her good friend Emersen “Eme” Leonard’s foundation, Eme’s Army. Eme is 5 and has Down syndrome. Her family started Eme’s Army to spread awareness about the genetic disorder. Her crew includes her dad TJ, mom Analisa, brother Domonick and sister Memphis.
“Eme just started school and it can be difficult for her with other kids. We recently took the dragsters to the school and fired them up to show the kids, and when they see that the team is named for Eme they see her differently,” said TJ.
Racing costs money and Isabella has a lot of support from her community, including businesses such as Captain Tony’s Pizza, Tri-R Towing, Joe’s Glass & Locksmith, The Winslow Theater and Auto Glass One.
According to TJ, the racing has not only brought their family together but also the entire, “This is great for the kids and we’d like to see more families get involved. We have a great sense of camaraderie, and we go to the races to support all of the kids. It’s a great way for families to be together.”