Behind The Wheel - #15 - Regina McKinley

Racing is in her blood and for her family- it dates back to the early 1900’s. Regina McKinley is the great great granddaughter of Barney Oldfield who was one of the first racecar drivers at Daytona Beach. Don’t let the thought of circle track racing fool you though, Regina gets her happiness and motivation from drag racing. Regina currently works her dream job at Vengeance Racing, where she gets to spend her time, both working and racing. Regina found herself in her Cadillac CTS-V 5 years ago and was hooked.

Regina spent the beginning of her adulthood prioritizing her daughter and didn’t get involved in drag racing as early as she wished she could’ve, but when she found herself making a pass down the track, she dove in headfirst. Gina’s car is a 2012 CTS-V with a Late Model Engines LSA shortblock, MAST heads, Huron Speed 64/67 twin turbo kit, Fuel Injection Connection injectors, Circle D 6L90 level 4 transmission, and a FTI Performance converter. “My goal was to get an 8-second pass and I finally got it!”, she told me. Just this past week, she ran an 8.98 @ 156.

Motivation is something she finds in herself, “I’m doing this for fun and for myself. I just want to get better every time, it’s just me”, she told me. Her biggest support is usually both track-side and miles away in Florida. Her track-side support is her Vengeance Racing team, and her support from miles away is her daughter, a nurse, who supports everything Regina does even if she can’t physically be there. Regina has spent her 2021 season dialing-in her car with the new set-up. Now that she has gotten her 8, her next goal is to find consistency in her passes.

Regina has competed in two Women & Wheels classes so far, where she has gone out first round, but she has found herself learning every race. “After the 2nd race I started to get the hang of it. I have been dialing the car in all year, bracket racing is about consistency, and I don’t have those consistent numbers yet”, she said. Her introduction to bracket racing was through the women’s class, “I found out the class was bracket racing and I know nothing about bracket racing, but I wanted to support Sophie and got to learn along the way!”, Regina said. Her favorite memory from the event was, “Meeting all of the ladies. I’ve met some really cool people like Jamie (Flora) with the Mustang, she’s so sweet”.

Aside from giving her an introduction to bracket racing, Regina said, “The way that Women & Wheels has grown proves that it has encouraged so many ladies to race, improved their confidence, and shown them that there is a place for them”. She hopes to inspire the younger generation, specifically younger girls, and hopes to encourage them to race without fear in a male-dominated sport. Regina’s advice would be, “Just do it. Have faith and confidence in yourself to get out there and do it. Don’t worry about what anyone else says, because we are all learning and growing, no matter how long you have raced, you’re always learning”.

Regina is a perfect example of how your own competition and motivation can be yourself, and you can find yourself getting better every single time you are on the track  

You can find Regina on IG @ ctsv_chic_12.