Found this In the HARTFORD COURANT…………………..Nice
DANBURY, Conn. – Most people have to wait until they are 16 to drive a car, and by then, they’re usually more than happy to get behind the wheel of the family’s four-door sedan and take it to a friend’s house or to school.
Caroline Galvin drove for the first time when she was 9, and now that she’s 16, she’s looking forward to her first run in an alcohol-powered dragster, powered by a screaming, 525-horsepower Chevy engine and capable of covering a quarter-mile in less than 10 seconds.
“I’m going to love it, I know,” said Galvin, a senior at Danbury High School, where she’s also an honor student and a member of the varsity softball team.
But don’t worry, motorists. Paul and Ann Galvin’s eldest daughter and Claire Galvin’s older sister won’t be speeding down Interstate 84 or any other public highway. Instead, it’s the drag strip at Island Dragway in Great Meadows, N.J., where she will be driving in the fast lane.
Speed is in Caroline’s blood. Her father has been involved with drag racing since he was a teenager, and still competes at strips from Pennsylvania to New Hampshire. In the 1970s and 1980s, he ran the House of Speed in Danbury, catering to racers at the Dover drag strip and stock car racers from the old Danbury Racearena. Today, he works for Highcroft Racing, located on Miry Brook Road.
“She’s been around that stuff from day one, but I never tried to push her toward it,” Paul Galvin said.
Ann Galvin said she isn’t worried that her daughter is participating in a risky sport.
“If I thought she wanted to be the next woman driver at Indy, I’d be nervous. But this is just a way for her to spend time with her father,” Ann Galvin said.
“I don’t worry about her in the dragster. She has a helmet and a fireproof suit for protection. I’m more worried when she’s on the road with all the other people out there,” her mother said.
Besides racing, Caroline has other interests: playing sports in school, being a Girl Scout, and teaching religious education at Sacred Heart Church in Danbury. She also works part time at the Education Warehouse on Newtown Road, and hopes to attend Northeastern University in Boston next year and study communications.
Caroline remembers the time her father mounted an engine on her little red wagon and drove it around the backyard of their home.
By the time she was 7, she was begging to accompany him to the track. When she turned 9, the father-daughter team started building a junior dragster for Caroline to race. While the machine they assembled was powered by a modified lawn mower engine, it’s still capable of speeds of nearly 80 miles per hour over a one-eighth-mile course.
Before her first race, Caroline admits to being scared. But after making the trip down the track, “I knew from that moment on I wanted to do it,” she said.
For the past seven years, she’s been racing regularly at drag strips such as Lebanon Valley, N.Y., and Englishtown, N.J.
The junior dragster class is open to those ages 8 to 18, and in the early years, Caroline wasn’t the only girl. But as she got older, the number of females decreased, and the boys predominated.
Still, she’s won her share of races.
“The boys at the track start to respect you after you’ve beaten them a few times,” she said. “I’m not a girly-girl, and I’m not a tomboy. I’m not trying to show up the boys. I just want to win the race.”
Now that she’s 16, Caroline is ready to take her next step, driving the full-size dragster her father built and racing in the adult classes. For the rest of this season, she’ll be happy to go slow and just get the feel of the car, she said.
But eventually, she’s looking to go all out.
“I want to run in the 8’s (seconds),” she said.
maybe you can move the picture of Paul & Caroline that Video Bob took at this years reunion for anyone who does not know Paul 😳 or Caroline and the car in the article. Go for it young lady, I’d like to be there for your first Wally. Good LUCK.