It’s something that began back in 1972 with their grandfather, continued on by their father, and almost 50 years later, remains a family tradition for Jada and Daylen Miller.
For the Millers, drag racing and spending weekends at the track has become a way of life during the summer months.
“I grew up drag racing since before I could remember, always something I’ve done,” says Jada, 20, who began competing in junior dragsters when she was just eight. “Most people are generally surprised how serious we are into it.”
However, it was her grandfather who helped to establish Fort St. John’s drag racing community and the eventual construction of the Northern Lights Raceway.
Now in her 13th season of competition, she admits one of the downfalls of being a racer in the North are the short seasons, just two or three months, compared to almost-year-round in places like the States. That hasn’t, however, discouraged her from competing. In fact, the opposite – it’s meant more racing over the shorter seasons.
Like many who compete on the circuit, it’s speed that draws the NPSS grad to the track – her 2007 model rear-engine dragster is able to reach speeds of 270 kilometres-an-hour or more on any given weekend.
Her brother, Daylen, shares that same passion. “Just love going fast. Love cars. Love engines. Love to work on stuff.”
Like his sister, Daylen, 18, also began racing at the age of 8 in the junior dragster class, but has now moved up to the larger engines. Unfortunately, in recent weeks, the younger Miller has spent more time fixing than racing his 2005 dragster after a broken crank shaft kept him off the track for close to a month.
With two young dragsters in the mix, their dad Jason, a racer himself, has decided to spend more time behind the scenes in the pits. “Can’t be more prouder,” he says, when talking about his kids’ decision to continue the family tradition. “We’ve been doing this for just about 50 years now.”
Although Jada and Daylen are now young adults, they still ask their father for advice, particularly when it comes to racing. He says there’s a basic set of rules to consider. “Make sure your head is clear. Do a quick check of the car, make sure everything is good that way, and if anything feels like it might be going wrong, you abort the run.”
Their grandfather, Kym, is also thrilled to see Jada and Daylen involved in the sport.
“Fantastic for the kids to continue on. They both started in the junior dragsters. Now, all of sudden they’re in the big dragsters, driving 180 miles-an-hour, so, pretty impressive.”