Some sisters go shopping together or spend time with each other's children.
Not the case for Jody Thompson of Nisswa and her 21-year-old sister Jessica Horman of Brainerd at Brainerd International Raceway July 31.
Thompson rode "shotgun" as her younger sibling blazed down BIR's quarter-mile dragstrip at more than 97 mph in a baby blue 1977 Vega coupe for her first time during the Wednesday Night Street Drags.
"I was glad to have my sister next to me," Horman said minutes after the pass still buckled in her car with a five-point seat belt harness. "If I would have been alone, I would have been a lot more nervous than I was."
Jessica Horman and Jody Thompson shared a laugh as Horman talked about her first drag race.
Thompson is no stranger to the pavement. She raced the Vega for the first time at BIR when she was 16. She is currently racing in the Super Gas class with a 1934 Chevy Roadster -- clicking off elapsed times of 9.90 seconds at 145 mph.
Horman still said her first pass was nerve-racking because of the speed.
"I'm not used to driving this fast," she said. "I always drive the speed limit."
She said she felt the easiest part of the pass was reacting to the green light on the Christmas tree -- a set of vertical lights that gives the racer a visual countdown to the start of the race -- on the starting line. She has a tree at home uses to practice.
Horman popped a wheelie with her Vega as she launched hard from BIR's starting line in one of her last runs. She covered the first 60 feet in less than 3 seconds.
"I think I held the brake a little bit," she said.
Horman said that in her next runs she found herself laughing because it was so weird going that fast that quick.
Thompson did offer advice to Horman.
Some advice involved when to shift the car's three-speed Hurst automatic transmission at the right time in regard to the engine's revolutions per minute, removing her foot from the accelerator if she felt uncomfortable and not oversteering.
Horman said Thompson knows all too well what happens when a racer doesn't shift at the right rpm. When she was racing the Vega, she shifted at the wrong time and put the fan through the radiator.
Actually, the Vega, which was the first car that Horman's father built, has been in a garage for several years. He bought it from a family who used it as their primary vehicle.
Thompson doesn't know what this Vega with a Chevrolet 350-cubic inch engine with a four-barrel carburetor and racing tires is worth.
She does know it will stay in the family.
"We would never sell it, never, sentimental," she said.
Horman said she decided to race this family prize because her father, a former hydroplane boat racer, wanted to see one of his four daughters race it again.
"It was fun to hang out with my sister," Horman said. "It made her and my dad happy to see me racing. That's a good feeling."
As far as competing in a male-dominated sport, Horman said drag racing is for anybody.
"If you have the knowledge and courage to do it then it's really anybody's sport," she said.
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