There's a popular saying in the NHRA drag racing pit areas - "It's never a bad day when you're at the race track." For 2016 Super Gas world champion and Top Alcohol championship contender Mia Tedesco that saying holds even more consolation after her surprisingly quick exit from competition at the world's biggest and most prestigious drag racing event, the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.
Competing in NHRA Lucas Oil Sportsman racing in her CARS Vehicle Service Contracts/Schepel Motors/NGK/Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Dragster and her CARS Vehicle Service Contracts/VP Racing Fuels Super Gas Chevrolet Cavalier, Tedesco is not only a fan favorite, she's also a favorite to win everywhere she races.
After becoming the first female Super Gas world champion last year and winning the previous two Divisional events in her Top Alcohol Dragster in Indianapolis and Bowling Green, Ky., all eyes were focused on Tedesco to have a high probability to "double-up" at the "Big Go", but the frustrating side of racing altered her fortunes.
Tedesco lost in the first round of eliminations in both of her race cars in Indy.
"Of course, we hoped this weekend would have gone better," Tedesco said. "It's the biggest race of the season and one everyone looks forward to all year long. However, no matter what race we are at I want to win it just as bad.
"I thought we had good momentum heading into Indy with back to back wins in the alcohol car. We made okay runs in qualifying and just couldn't get it done first round. It was a good race against an awesome driver."
Tedesco qualified her CARS Vehicle Service Contracts/Schepel Motors/NGK/Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Dragster in the middle of the field in the No. 8 spot. In the opening round of eliminations, she battled one of the class's best, Marty Thacker. The two racers put on a great side-by-side race, but Tedesco came in second at the finish line stripe, 5.356 seconds, 270.92 mph to 5.304, 268.49.
Despite a starting line advantage in her first round race against Keneth Sanders in Super Gas, Tedesco's early exit in her CARS Vehicle Service Contracts/VP Racing Fuels Chevrolet Cavalier also came at the finish line, 9.942, 164.49 to 9.916, 121.27.
"My Super Gas car has been running awesome but it's been one of the hardest, humbling years yet racing it," Tedesco said. "Losing first round at Indy in both cars stings. Last year it seemed I couldn't do anything wrong in that car and this year I don't think I can do anything right.
"At this point, I'm just recognizing how humbling and amazing this sport can be. I'm blessed to do what I love. Even though I'm not getting the results I've hoped for, that's part of it. I must keep swinging and things will turn around."