We sit down “In the Garage” with Jolynn Toma, a local drag racer and car enthusiast of Illinois. Jolynn chats about growing up with her racing experiences.
Name: Jolynn Toma
How did you first get into cars?
I have to thank my dad for getting me into cars. He’s been racing since he was 16 years old. When my brother was 12, my parents bought him a Jr. Dragster to race. That got passed down to my sister and then to me when I was 14 years old.
What was your first car?
That depends if you count the Jr. Dragster. My first street legal car was a 1993 Ford Mustang fox body. It was teal with gray cloth seats. It wasn’t long before I traded it though. One day we were coming home from a high school sporting event and came across a 1994 Mustang for sale by private owner. We stopped and I fell in love. My mom had one just like it when she was younger. It was white with red seats in excellent condition. We ended up putting bright red stripes down the center. I remember some of my teachers in high school thinking my parents were crazy for letting me have a Mustang. Oh, the things people worry about!
It’s certainly obvious you’re into drag racing. How long have you been doing that?
My first time racing was when I was 14 years old – the Jr. Dragster. I wasn’t very consistent on the tree. Sometime I’d turn both sets of lights on and other times I’d roll in deep. Like any good father, my dad tried to give me advice. Did I already say I was 14? Simple put – I was stubborn. I couldn’t handle the advice, which back then I took as criticism. I quit after that year and didn’t get back into it until 2014. Dad asked if I wanted to run his 1991 Mustang and I jumped the chance. Heck ya I do!
Do you have any accolades to list?
As a matter of fact I do. It turns out I wasn’t too bad my first year back. I placed 3rd out of 48 drivers in the NHRA Bracket Series at Route 66 in Joliet, IL. This past season, I was pregnant for half of it so I didn’t chase the points.
There was one day, however, I was 9 months pregnant and took a Ford Fusion to the track just for fun. I wanted the points and expected to lose first round. I ended up winning the entire event and had my son 3 days later! I can’t wait to tell him that story when he gets older.
What modifications (Or Restorations) are done to your car?
Ya know, if you can believe it, I don’t know a darn thing about the performance aspect of it. I’m the lucky girl that gets to hop in and drive. My dad takes care of the rest. Haha!
But, I can tell you that it’s bored .030 over, has Eldelbrock aluminum heads and intake with an E303 Ford cam. Then a SN95 Paxton supercharger putting out 5 lbs of boost. It has short tube headers, a cat delete, manual shift AOD with 2500 stall converter and 4.10 gears. Plus, a 4-point roll bar and Simpson safety harness. Currently it runs 12.50’s in the ¼ mile on motor and has a 75 shot of NOS in it that makes it run 11.80 seconds.
Do you have a favorite brand or product you love to use?
We’re a Ford family. Always have been and probably always will be.
What are your future plans, modifications, or events in you plan to do?
I’m looking forward to next year’s racing season. My husband and I have two boys and they’ll both be old enough to attend the track with us. My oldest (he’s 2), absolutely loves going. Almost every day he watches videos on my phone from the last two seasons. I really want to buckle down and get back into the competition aspect of it. Everyone in my division is very friendly and has good sportsmanship so no matter what, win or lose, it’s always a blast to go!
Photo credit to AMHphoto.