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DOB: March 22, 1979
Hometown: Portland, OR

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Related Issue: Women Racers Directory, Women in Racing, Women Racers, More Women in Racing, Race Schedules, Notable Women


Two years ago Cristen became the second youngest driver to ever win an NHRA Professional national event title when she claimed the Top Fuel title at the Mopar Parts Nationals less than two months after her 18th birthday

She races nitro funny cars at speeds over 300 MPH. She was a spokesperson for Team Safety on safe driving. She says "Often the difference between winning and losing races is my reaction time. In drag racing, this is the time between the start signal and when drivers respond. It takes practice, concentratoin and awareness to react as qucikly as possible. On the street it's no contest. Reaction time is vitally important. A delayed reaction can mean stopping too late and hitting a child or causing a rear-end collision. Traffic engineers say an average person's reaction time is about 2.5 seconds. In this short time, at only 30 MPH, you car will travel 110 ft. before you even apply the brakes! Just as in racing, regular driving requires good reaction times. It is your responsibility to be aware and pay attention so you can react as quickly as possible to prevent injury or loss of life.

Powell gets FC License

On Wednesday, August 25, Cristen Powell earned her Funny Car license in test sessions at Indianapolis Raceway Park. For Powell, it ended almost a month of frustration aboard John Cosanza's JCIT Pontiac as she was hampered by one up-in-smoke run after another. She ran times of 5.01/308 and 4.91/309 to not only license, but make history as well. Ms. Powell, 20 (DOB March 22, 1979) became the first woman to run under 5 seconds and over 308 mph in a Funny Car. Obviously, she is the youngest as well. In Top Fuel, she was a history maker as well, running quicker (4.59) and faster (308.85) than any female driver in history at such a young age (19).

When she won the 1997 Mopar Parts National (TAF), she was the second youngest driver to win Top Fuel. She was 18 + 2 months. (Jeb Allen turned 18 while winning the '72 race.)

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