By Mary Lendzion
Angel Gaulden learned a lot about race cars when she was a crew member for a race team.
And, along the way, she discovered that she wanted to climb into the cockpit of her own car and compete.
So in the fall of 2018, she signed up for Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School, and by January of 2019, she was testing in her daily-driven 2014 Camaro ZL1 at Showtime Speedway, near her home in Florida, for some seat time. She loved the laps, and started saving money to purchase a set of Mickey Thompson tires to go under her car which is powered by a 6.2L engine and a Magnuson HeartBeat supercharger and a Tremec TR6060 six-speed transmission.
She was trapping high 12s in testing when she heard about the Chevrolet Performance Street Car Challenge which was being contested at NMCA events, and she made plans to enter the category at the 18th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem presented by Holbrook Racing Engines in March of this year at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida. It may have been her very first race, but she managed to muscle to the win in the 13-second category.
“I had my children, Josh and Tiffany, with me, and we were smiling the whole weekend,” said Gaulden, who added that she will always remember the celebratory atmosphere in the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle.
Wanting to give it everything she had to back that up, she headed to the 12th Annual Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals in June at Atlanta Dragway, where she did just that, with another win in the 13-second category.
“I drove to the race from Florida by myself because my children couldn’t go, and I told them that I won that race for them,” said Gaulden.
Unfortunately, she had mechanical issues at the final NMCA event of the year, the 19th Annual Nitrous Supply NMCA World Street Finals presented by Chevrolet Performance in September at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana, but she has put that in the rearview mirror, and she is readying for the 2021 race season.
She recently delivered her car to Modern Muscle Xtreme in Virginia, where a SmoothBoost boost controller, as well as a McLeod clutch, are being installed. The team there also will replace the car’s stock suspension components with BMR suspension components.
“My stock suspension was taking a beating,” said Gaulden, who is also relying on Modern Muscle Xtreme to set her up with HP Tuners software, which she is learning how to use.
In addition to making modifications to the car, Gaulden will be making a move to the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series’ Proform Rumble category in 2021.
“I’m so excited and so ready to do this,” said Gaulden, who will proudly fly banners for Modern Muscle Xtreme on her car. “I like that I will be racing for points and a championship, and I can’t wait to race each and every Rumble race next year.”