Mindy Jackson: ODSS Firepunk Diesel 5.90 Index Champ
Particulate Matters: Girls DO, Too!
It's end-of-the-year time! It's December 2019, and on the 11th we'll be heading out to Indianapolis, Indiana, to attend the Performance Racing Industry trade show, a smorgasbord of motorsports-related coolness that can literally leave you breathless the first time you experience it. My PRI baptism took place 20 years ago, so being there this year is a milestone I'm really stoked about reaching.
PRI is also the time when many of the major heads-up, sportsman drag-racing sanctions celebrate their seasons by crowning class champions and acknowledging racers for their hard work and great competition at banquets and ceremonies held on Friday evening. The Outlaw Diesel Super Series is one of those groups, and I always enjoy its gathering of racers, sponsors, families, and such held at the Wyndham Indianapolis West hotel.
While it's very unfortunate, and just ethically wrong, racing of all sorts has long been viewed as a "man's sport." There are probably folks involved with the diesel hobby who share that sentiment. I'm fairly confident comments like "Sure, women are involved, but, well, you know " have been made at many a shop and racetrack over the years. Sadly, that is what it is on a big scale. However, in 2019, when it comes to drag racing—and ladies taking all the marbles—the year has been one for the ages.
Round wins. Event wins. Points championships. In a nutshell, at tracks throughout the U.S., the girls beat the brakes off the boys this year, including racers like Erica Enders (Pro Stock), Brittany Force and Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel), Jianna Salinas (Pro Stock Motorcycle) and Megan Meyer (Top Alcohol Dragster) in NHRA, and Tricia (ARP Nitrous Pro Street) and Lizzy Musi in NMCA and Street Outlaws No Prep Kings, respectively. And in ODSS competition, there's Rolonda Miller (JAMO Performance Exhaust E.T. Bracket and ATS Diesel Performance/Diesel Power Magazine 7.70 Index), Susan Soga (Maryland Performance Diesel 6.70 Index and ATS Diesel Performance/Diesel Power Magazine 7.70 Index), and "Maaaaaad" Mindy Jackson, the driver who made the biggest statement in 2019, by winning the Firepunk Diesel Outlaw 5.90 Index championship in her rookie season.
Now, before I continue, let me be clear that Mindy isn't "mad" as in angry, or crazy. I gave her the nickname at the beginning of the season, just because it sounded cool (to me, at least). I honestly appreciate her being a good sport about it. At the time I added that "Maaaaaad" prefix—after witnessing her first ODSS qualifying and eliminations laps at the Rudy's Performance Parts Spring Truck Jam at Piedmont Dragway in Julian, North Carolina—I also predicted her 2019 championship.
"Mindy is gonna give those 5.90 guys fits this year," I said. "She's in a great truck (her husband, Dustin Jackson's, two-time Hot Shot's Secret Pro Street-championship-winning, Cummins-powered '94 Ford F-150 Lightning), has a great crew chief (accomplished diesel drag racer Daniel Pierce), and she is very, very focused and consistent as a driver. I bet she wins the class championship." These are the exact statements I made to anyone around me who was paying attention, and I reiterated my thoughts the following Monday in a live chat on the Diesel Power Magazine Facebook page.
I'm sure her competitors will confirm Maaaaaad Mindy is a shark when she's sitting in the other lane, but a great quality I noticed is the calculating calm she has outside the cockpit. When properly managed, tenacity and tranquility are perfect yin-and-yang contributors to success (Mindy won three and was a runner-up at one of the eight ODSS events this season)—in drag racing and for all other endeavors.
It has been a great year, and now it's time to move forward to 2020. Congratulations to Mindy for her achievements on the dragstrip. I also tip my hat in acknowledgement to all the women out there who are involved with the diesel industry, hobby, and lifestyle in one way or another. Yes, "Girls can, too." Props to those who do!