The Sports Report: Like father, like daughter
It’s no coincidence that Amanda Boicesco’s dragster wears the No.11, which means she’s the reigning NHRA Division 1 Super Comp champion. In the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Boicesco overcame a slow start to win a pair of Lucas Oil Series events en route to his first championship in the ultra-competitive Northeast Division. She finished with 363 points, leading a huge group of contenders which included Daniel Bisbano and Shawn Fricke, tied for second place.
It did not take long for Boicesco to validate his championship. In her first appearance of the year at a national event, she went the distance with a strong six-round performance that included a near-perfect 8.908 to beat three-time Comp champion Frank Aragona Jr. Ken Moses, who has doubled in the 2019 Epping race.
The final round was memorable, not only because it was only the 15th time that two women have competed in a national final, but also because it was one hell of a good drag race. Paired with former Indy winner Heather Fetch, Boicesco started first with a strong light of .009 and sealed the win with an 8.94.
Minutes later, Boicesco watched his dad compete in the Super Gas final, but dreams of a father-daughter winning circle will have to wait another day as Iggie’s Corvette developed a mechanical issue and he finished. second to 2016 world champion John. Labbous Jr.
Subsequently, Boicesco’s first thought was his father, the 2006 Super Gas World Champion. Iggie Boicesco also won nine national tournaments, including two at the US Championships. Needless to say, he passed on much of his knowledge and experience to his daughter.
“My dad is amazing,” Boicesco said in his interview with the post-race winner’s circle. “Nobody understands what they go through to win. He’s 71 and he’s as good as he was 20. He works harder than anyone I know, and he will do whatever it takes to win. I grew up in a house full of Wally’s, so I had a lot to admire.
The importance of running an all-women final was not lost on Boicesco either. For the record, there have now been 16 all-women finals, but this remains a fairly exclusive sorority that includes Shirley Muldowney, who defeated Lucille Lee in the first all-women NHRA final in the Atlanta race in 1982. Three years ago Deborah DiGenova passed Rebecca Miller to claim the Top Dragster title at Epping and earlier this season Rachel Meyer’s two Top Alcohol Dragster wins were won by Jackie Fricke and Karen Stalba.
“I have admired Heather since I was a child. She and my dad both won the Indy in 2006 and she has always been my idol, ”said Boicesco. “Running her in the final was only the ultimate. I knew she was only eight years old in total. [.008 package] in the semi-finals and I knew I had to do some magic. I felt like I had touched the tree pretty well but for some reason I couldn’t make it so I let her go. When you can’t get there, it’s your only choice.
With a division title and a safe second national victory, Boicesco is now eyeing more ambitious goals, possibly even a Lucas Oil Series World Championship.
“A Division 1 championship has always been my goal,” said Boicesco. “I always wanted to. Winning the world would be the next step. I guess that’s the plan.