Behind The Wheel - #4 - Sasha Holley
Some people become involved in the motorsports industry from growing up and watching it or hearing about it, some people accidentally become involved in it, and some people are just born with it in their blood, somehow finding themselves at the racetrack before even leaving the womb. Sasha Holley is a prime example of one of those who were just born into a family that loves this industry. Sasha told me, “I have a picture of my mom 8.5 months pregnant with me, standing on the starting line with my dad”.
Sasha is 37, married with 3 children and grew up in central Georgia. Sasha is a prime example of breaking the barrier. In 1991, she was one of the first people in the southeast to have a jr dragster. She told me about how she got involved with jr dragsters, “They were being developed on the west coast. At the time I was getting into go-kart racing, but my dad decided he was going to build our own jr dragster in the backyard himself”. Sasha’s first jr dragster was built in a 20x20 barn with a dirt floor and minimal lighting. She told me they didn’t even have a trailer, there were multiple people who helped pick up the jr dragster and put it in the back of a Ford Ranger. Her pink junior dragster was raced in exhibition style for the first year and a half before she even had local competition.
Her father was her biggest influence and role model, who she speaks a lot of. He influenced her from not only supporting her by hand-crafting her own jr dragster, but by also supporting her in every other realm possible. In 2005, her father opened his own business and 21-year-old Sasha who was as she put it, “I was young, dumb, and didn’t know what I was doing. I decided to work with my dad. I got hands on experience with him at the shop”. Her love for drag racing itself came from the things she experienced at the track with her dad. “My dad was a man of very few words and at the racetrack I saw him have conversations, emotions, he was excited. It almost changed him as a person when he was there, he was no longer quiet and reserved. He built friendships and bonds with people there, and I wanted that”, she says. Sasha told me about her most favorite and distinct memory from the Women & Wheels class, “Meeting all of the girls there and seeing how open-armed everyone was. Jamie (Flora) walked up to me like she already knew me! She asked if I knew what I was doing, or if I needed any help”.
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree as she has gained many friendships with others at the track. Sasha spoke of her friend Trisha Tucci who she met during the Women & Wheels class in Atlanta during first round, “I lost 1 st round to Trisha in her CTS-V, we both broke out by .005, but she just broke out less on the hundred thousandth. We immediately got this friendship from racing each other”. Being that this was Sasha’s first time competing in the Women & Wheels class, I asked her what drew her to competing in it. She said, “I really wanted to meet the Women & Wheels crew and other racers. The like-minded people who’s common ground is racing”. Although Sasha didn’t take home the win, she proved to be in it for the same reasons of everyone else, supporting other women. Sasha raced her stock 2021 Escalade and told me, “I think I’ll race in every event in the Escalade that I can next year. I think if there’s a bunch of us out there with daily stock vehicles, it shows ladies that you can race the same vehicle you drive there and meet other ladies and create bonds”. But don’t let Sasha’s mom car, that she literally drives her kids to soccer practice in, fool you because she actually owns and races a 2021 Supra. Sasha obtained this Supra last year after being unsatisfied with her 2019 Lexus RC-F. She took the RC-F to the track and the best she could get it to run was a 12.8 and was unhappy to find that the aftermarket support for that car just wasn’t as available as other platforms. Her husband took her to check out a supra and she told me, “I made fun of him, who would want a 300 horsepower go-kart? Then I drove one and knew I was leaving my Lexus at the dealership and taking the Supra home”. Sasha’s supra immediately ran a 12.2 and she knew that the aftermarket support is there and is continuously developing. “For the past year, we have torn the car apart and rebuilt it. We’re kind-of still in the guinea pig trial and error time”, she said. Sasha’s car is continuously evolving and currently has a 3.2 Titan stroker engine, a built head, Precision 68/70 turbo, built transmission, and every other supporting mod you can think of. Last year, her husband registered with her car for TX2K and won, so Sasha’s next goal is for him to win TX2K again in her car and for her take home a win from FL2K.
Sasha thinks that Women & Wheels has opened up opportunities in areas that some don’t think about.
She told me, “I know it’s cliché, but the Henry Ford quote ‘Whether you think you can or think you can’t,
you’re right’. Women & Wheels has made it easy for women to participate. You can have girls like Gina
(McKinley) and Trisha (Tucci) with fast CTS-V’s or girls like me in their daily’s. Women & Wheels just wants to grow females in this industry and help build confidence in beginners”. Sasha hopes to be a part of aiding in the success of other women, “If we all influence just one female to get involved, I think we have done exactly what we want to do”. Her best advice would be, “Don’t be afraid to ask, there are no dumb questions. Everybody in the Women & Wheels affiliation are more than happy to help, guide, and suggest! Just don’t be afraid to ask!”. Sasha has certainly found her place in this industry and has taken the same steps as her father and cultivated friendships just from one common-ground. Being that she was not only one of the first jr dragster racers in the southeast, but also one of the first girls, I feel like she genuinely is a role model for other women and shows that if someone wants to be involved- get involved!
You can find Sasha on IG @xcessiv_mkv.