Behind The Wheel - #5 - Jay Pritchett
On Wednesdays, you can find a new article of Behind the Wheel, featuring another badass lady that competed in the Women & Wheels class, but on Wednesdays in Indiana, you will find Jay Pritchett testing her car at Lucas Oil Raceway for “Wild Wednesday” test-n-tune. Jordan grew up on a farm in Indiana and now owns a mens hair salon. Jay is engaged with two kids 7, and 8, who she calls her mini-me’s. She retired from doing hair last year after 13 years, which has opened plenty of opportunity to allow her to travel across the country and compete in multiple events. We have been lucky to see her compete in 3 Women & Wheels classes this season and she is planning to be at the OKC event this coming weekend!
Jay first found a passion within the car world when she helped her fiancé finish his 1970 Mach 1 restoration. Jordan’s now-fiancé worked at a local dealership at the time, and he had a demo car that she fell in love with- a 2019 Mustang GT. In November of 2019, after a lot of convincing, Jay was finally able to sign the papers and take home the car she fell madly in love with. Jordan started to struggle mentally when she had to retire from hair due to an injury, and knew she had to find another outlet and her fiancé told her she should “go to the track to legally race and see how you like it”. She tried it and knew she had found a new hobby she was going to spend her free time doing. She went to Frank Holley’s drag school and got licensed to drive a super comp dragster, which when trying to convince her fiancé they needed one it didn’t go as she had hoped, “I got shut down on buying one of those, so I knew we were going to have to take this slow and just race my own car”.
Jay has spent the last 1.5 years racing her 2019 Mustang GT that she is continuously changing up. It currently is E-85 tuned, has long tube headers, 4.56 gears, a ported intake manifold, and sits on Toyo R888’s. Her s550 is her daily driver and she’s very proud of the fact, “I drive my car to every event and I don’t trailer it”. Although she has high hopes for it to be the fastest N/A coyote, she knows that this is her daily and she doesn’t want to break it, so for now- she hopes to be in the 10’s next year. Her and her fiancé’s best friend, Josh, is who does the mechanical work to her car. When her fiancé can’t get off work, their friend Josh will travel with her to events as her “crew chief”, but her number one supporter is still her fiancé Brad. Now that she has been racing her kids have shown interest in it as well, “Now that I’m racing, we bought my son a go-kart and dirt-bike and my daughter has convinced me she wants a jr. dragster”. Jay might have her hands a bit full for the next few years.
Jay’s role models are really just the people she surrounds herself with or sees doing well in the racing industry, “The role models I had started at top fuel dragster racers but have trickled down to the people like Sophie (Fox), Jamie (Flora), and Brandi (Pierce). I want to meet people like them, really any of the female racers, I just look up to”. When going to Streetcar Takeover in Indy, Jay was signing up for the 11.0 class when she learned about the Women & Wheels class, “I about lost my mind of excitement! This is my home track, I am most of the time the only girl aside from one or two other girls out there at Test-N-Tune, there’s not many women racers around here”. She signed up with hopes of getting the opportunity to meet other like-minded ladies. “I got into the lanes and was so nervous and almost made myself sick. All of the ladies were standing outside their cars talking, I knew I had to just get out there and talk to them”, she told me. Jay then stepped outside of her comfort zone and started talking to some of the ladies in the class.
Jay made it to the semi-finals in Indy before getting told they were unable to finish due to rain and the third oil-down of the day. She is super thankful for the class in Indiana because, “Had it not been for the women’s class I wouldn’t have met Jamie (Flora). She inspired me to try to travel to every Women & Wheels class next year”. Jay looks back on one of her favorite memories from competing in the W&W class this year. “Jamie (Flora) was one of the first women at the class in Indy to open up to me and tell me not to be nervous and that we’re all here doing things, and some people have been doing it less time than me! Her family is super supportive, and they will come up with me and watch me race”, she says.
Jay told me about what Women & Wheels has been able to provide for her, “I was stoked about the class because I don’t have a lot of girlfriends, and the ones I do have aren’t interested in car stuff. I met everyone and when I posted about getting a new PB, everyone messaged me and commented and were so supportive! I got to meet those girls through Women & Wheels”. Her advice for any lady that wants to get involved is to, “Just show up to an event! Talk to whoever you can, someone in the class. Everyone will give you pointers, I’m still new to it. I thought it would be hard to get involved, travel around, and make friends, but it’s all been so easy. A good way to get involved in drag racing would be within the women’s class”. Jay goes to show that you don’t have to have been super involved in racing or cars your entire life to go out there and have fun, be competitive, and cultivate friendships you may not find anywhere else.
You can find Jay on IG @jay.p5.0