BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – For some kids it’s the crack of the bat. For others it’s dribbling a basketball.
For nine-year-old Lanie Seszko of Shadyside, it’s the sound of the engine that inspires her.
She developed a love for Jr. Dragster racing by watching her dad, Robbie Seszko, who’s been racing since he was just a kid himself
For the past tow years Lanie has been going racing with me every weekend. She just kind of fell in love with it and wanted to go racing with me every weekend. Then we had the opportunity to buy this car. I ask Lanie would you be interested in racing it and she said ‘sure Dad’. So, we made a deal happen and it’s her car now.Robbie Seszko, Lanie’s Dad
The car is an American Chassie Jr. Dragster. It’s basically a scale down model of the top fuel dragster, which is the fastest category of drag racing. However, the Jr. Dragsters run on an eighth mile track reaching speeds of around 50 mph.
Usually my heart drops a second, watching her go down the track. Then once I see her slow down and turn off I know it’s all over and I hope that her win light is on.Robbie Seszko, Lanie’s Dad
Lanie competes in the 1190 Jr. Storm Class at the National Trail Raceway just outside of Columbus. There are around 15 drivers in her class, but as many as 60 kids competing on any given weekend.
Lanie has had success early on.
I was in the semi-finals in my first race.Lanie Seszko, Driver
Her racing strategy is pretty straight forward.
I just look for the finish line and try to finish first.Lanie Seszko, Driver
She hopes to finish first for a good reason. There are cash prizes for top finishers, but Lanie has promised to donate a portion of her winning to “Ceci’s Crew”, which will benefit her best friend who is battling cancer, but it’s going to take a lot of work.
Jr. dragsters are temperamental cars that require a lot of work and attention to detail. The cars have to run at a certain temperature. The cars actually include a weather station to measure the outside humidity.
It take a lot of work to get the car ready for race day, Lanie gets some help from her sister Ellie, who also hopes to make her debut on the track sometime soon.
Laine also likes softball and is a talented pitcher, but her first love is racing. As she says, she hope to be a professional driver some day
I hope that she enjoys this as much as I do, has as much passion as I do about racing and continues as she gets older. Maybe I never have to race again and I can just support her and be her crew chief.Robbie Seszko, Lanie’s Dad
Lanie’s next race will be on the 4th of July weekend at the National Trail Raceway in Columbus.
7News wishes her the best of luck!