Behind The Wheel - #26 - Sharon Klausner

Spending time in the passenger seat of Jeeps and off-roading with her husband was what she did until finding her own hobby involving automobiles that she wanted to invest all of her time into. Sharon Klausner has found her free-time spent working on her car, drag racing in whatever races she could get more seat-time in, and competing in drag-and-drive events.Sharon is originally from New York and moved to North Carolina in 2013 with her husband and 2 children.

Growing up, Sharon always thought that cars were cool and spent some time alongside her grandfather who worked for an automotive school in Brooklyn. When she got with her now-husband, he taught her the mechanics of a car, and got her involved in drag racing. Sharon got her car in November of 2018 – on her husband’s birthday- she told me, and she never had any intentions on racing it. She and her husband watched a lot of the big youtubers and saw that they were competing in events like Rocky Mountain Race Week and Street Car Takeover, so her husband thought it would be fun to surprise her and sign her up for roll racing and told her about it a week prior to the event.

Sharon roll-raced at the event, and although nervous, she had fun and knew it was something she had to keep doing. From then on, she found a love in dig racing and drag-and-drive events. Her number one supporter at the track is her husband, who wanted her to get into drag racing so that she could have her own hobby to enjoy too. “I enjoyed racing, and he got happy about it. So we have worked together to make racing happen”, she told me. She looks up to her friend, Felicia Smith, who also races a Cadillac CTS-V, who she enjoys spending time at the track with when she gets the chance.

The car that she races is a 2012 CTS-V coupe, that is very purple. It is currently down after a lot of racing and is receiving a 427 LS Next block, Frankenstein heads, and going to be featuring the Kong Ported LSA blower again. Sharon has future plans of going twin-turbo with the car but explained to me she has enjoyed building the car in stages. “When we start talking about the next round of upgrades we think about drag-and-drive events. But I like the fact that I have grown with the car and it has never been too much for me”, she said. Her fastest pass so far has been a 9.89 @ 142MPH and she hopes to see herself getting faster and faster.

She has competed in both the Charlotte and Bradenton Women & Wheels classes at Street Car Takeover and told me about her favorite memory from the class. “I enjoyed Bradenton the best, it didn't feel as crowded, and I had been following Women & Wheels on IG and Facebook and I felt more aware with the brand. I knew women raced but I enjoyed being together and seeing all of the other women who raced and shared the same passion”, she said. She told me why she decided to join in the class, in Charlotte,, “I hadn't really met Sophie yet at that point, she was busy, but in passing I heard the goal of the class. I had bracket raced before, and I knew it would be really cool to be out there empowering and supporting other women”.

As always, I asked Sharon what she thinks Women & Wheels is doing for ladies in the industry, “I think it has brought light to how many women racers there are. In my neck of the woods, there aren't a lot, and some of the wives will talk to me and I’ll tell them to get involved! I think Women & Wheels is bringing awareness and empowering women to show that if you want to do it, anything is possible. You don't have to be the fastest, have the nicest car, or compete in specific events. You can just go race and be supported”.

Sharon’s biggest piece of advice for a woman interested in getting involved would be, “Grab whatever you can get your hands on. Don't try to go for the moon your first time out, that way you don't scare yourself. I’m a worrier, I always worry about crashing or messing up, but even the fastest people mess up. Don't let the fear hold you back”. She touched more on how she views racing as a whole, “I have met some awesome people and seen some beautiful places because of racing. Knowing what I know now only makes me wish I had gotten involved at an earlier age. Everyone comes together to help out and is so supportive. I encourage anyone who's thinking about it, especially women, to do it. You won't regret it!”.

Sharon has found a passion in drag racing and is an example to other women of the people you can meet, places you can see, and things you can learn just by having a fun time with your car.

You can find her on IG @valkyreeracing.