Blog

Drag Racing Royalty: A Fairmont Anaheim Hills Student’s Racing Dreams

Fairmont Anaheim Hills 7th grader Autumn H. has a unique passion and talent for someone her age: drag racing. While that may not be the first sport most parents would think to sign their child up for, in Autumn’s family it’s in their blood.

“My family, they’re all drag racers; my dad, my aunts, my grandpa,” Autumn explains. “My dad is the current National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Funny Car world champion. My aunt, Brittany, is the current Top Fuel world champion, and my grandpa is one of the biggest names in the sport.”

With a family history like that, it was only a matter of time before Autumn fell in love with her family’s hot rod cars and wanted to be out on the track herself. Luckily, she has a whole family backing up her decision to race.

“Autumn had an opportunity to see drag racing at a young age,” Autumn’s father, Robert said. “Once she saw the junior dragsters, she wanted to [race].”

Like any sport, practice is required. In order to reach her goal of someday racing professionally, Autumn spends her Thursday nights at the Irwindale race track.

“I’m usually the only junior racer there, so I get the whole track to myself,” Autumn said. “I’m mostly practicing my reaction time.”

 

Autumn also gets to race competitively with other junior racers several times a year at the Fontana, Irwindale, and Barona race tracks. How often she is able to race depends on her dad’s own race schedule (the only downside to having a family involved in the same sport).

As with any type of car racing, drag racing can be dangerous, but her family is adamant about staying up to date with safety techniques and innovations.

“NHRA does a really good job to keep [racing] safe, and we have all the latest safety advancements in Autumn’s car,” Robert said.

While racing is important to the family, academics take priority.

“School is always first,” Robert said. “To be able to race, [Autumn] knows she has to get good grades.”

Autumn agrees with this rule, pointing out how education betters her abilities on the race track.

“Education is important in anything you do,” Autumn shared. “I love math and there’s a lot of math in drag racing.”

With a strong show of family support behind her, drag racing talent in her blood, and determination to live up to her family name, Autumn’s dreams of going pro seem quite realistic.

“I will do anything I can to help her,” Robert said, “as long as she shows me this is what she wants to do more than anything.”

With a family history of racing, Robert stressed that he wants to be sure racing is Autumn’s choice and not something she feels obligated to take part in. So long as it’s her passion, though, he’s enjoying every minute.

“Being out at the race track with Autumn is something that I look forward to, and I don’t take for granted the time I get to spend with her doing something we both love,” Robert shared with parental pride. “She’s already ahead of me at age 13 — I didn’t start racing until I was 35.”

Pumping the brakes a bit while dreaming about her future, Robert added, “I’ll let her go pro after she gets a college degree.”

As Autumn herself said, “Education is important!”

Leave a comment

Shelby Wagner - 1st Grade Teacher Fairmont Historic AnaheimTop Teacher & Skating Champion
Shelby “My favorite part of being a teacher is the children I get to teach.”
  • Is one of the head teachers for the Fountain Valley Artistic Skating Club, teaching regional and national champions. She also teaches beginner classes every Saturday morning.
  • Every year, her students are amazed to find that their teacher has a life outside of the classroom.
“I love feeling like I’m part of a family [at Fairmont].”
Keira Kamath - 5th Grade Fairmont Anaheim HillsScience & Tennis Superstar
keira “I like how there are so many different specialty classes at Fairmont Anaheim Hills, like art, music, PE, science lab, computer lab, and Spanish.”
  • She would like to be a professional tennis player when she grows up, or maybe a doctor.
  • Loves dance and plays the piano
  • Her favorite class is science “because you get to figure out stuff, and I like to do experiments.”
Nicholas Aghaian - 7th Grade Fairmont Historic AnaheimKicking His Way to Med School
nicolas“The teachers and the amount of support they provide to not only me, but to the whole entire community here at Fairmont is probably what I like most about attending Fairmont Historic Anaheim.”
  • He would like to be a professional soccer player, or a doctor specializing in the field of sports medicine.
  • Enjoys basketball, piano, and soccer pitch.
  • His favorite subject is math “because I like to be challenged, and math is full of challenges.”
Gianluca De Gregoris – 2nd Grade Fairmont North TustinDancing Toward Greatness
dancing"What I like most about Fairmont is that I get to learn and meet new friends.”
  • He wants to be a professional dancer when he grows up.
  • Is trained in ballet and ballroom dancing.
  • Loves writing and creating new stories.
Nicole Heyman - Kindergarten Teacher Fairmont Anaheim HillsLaying a Foundation for Lifelong Learning
Nicole "The best part about teaching at Fairmont is being able to work with a diverse group of students who are all incredibly talented. It is amazing to be able to challenge students at such a young age and watch these children grow throughout the year.”
  • Loves camping, reading, and traveling
  • Her students love learning random things about her – like the fact that when she was in kindergarten she wanted to be Spiderman when she grew up.
  • Her proudest moments are the times when a student on campus is excited to see her, oftentimes telling her that she’s “the best teacher in the world.” “I live for those moments.”
“I choose to teach at Fairmont because of the sense of community, as well as the drive for our students to succeed.”
DJ Clovis - Music Teacher Fairmont North TustinRunning to the Rhythm
DJ Clovis “I get to work with amazing staff, faculty, parents, and most importantly, students!”
  • Teaches music to all grades — from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade
  • Coaches (or has coached) football, basketball, and Run Club
  • Plays bass trombone
  • NJHS Conflict Resolution Coach
  • He has run 15 marathons and 4 ultra marathons.
“The best part of teaching at Fairmont is the autonomy — being able to create a program that fits all of my students. At Fairmont North Tustin, I get to help with a lot of different activities.”