Drag Illustrated Issue 168, May 2021 - Page 87

ADRIANN SAWYER THE GOOD FIGHT BY KELLY WADE /// PHOTOGRAPHS BY RICK BELDEN AND SADIE GLENN

WOMEN

OF POWER 2021

ADRIANN SAWYER THE GOOD FIGHT BY KELLY WADE /// PHOTOGRAPHS BY RICK BELDEN AND SADIE GLENN

Adriann Sawyer didn ’ t believe Deric Kramer when he told her he was an NHRA Pro Stock driver . Not only did she disbelieve his assertions , she didn ’ t actually know much about drag racing at all . “ His friends told me he was a line cook ,” says the childhood cancer survivor with a laugh .
They ’ d only been dating two weeks when Kramer asked her to accompany him to the Four- Wide Nationals in Las Vegas , and once they were on the plane , he convinced her that he really was a racer and that she was going to meet his whole family that weekend .
“ I was very nervous at first ,” Sawyer admits . “ I stood against the trailer and didn ’ t really do much , but that was the first race Deric made it to the finals . He lost by seven ten-thousandths of a second [ to Vincent Nobile ], and I was super confused . His dad was cheering , and I was like , ‘ Did he win ?’ He said no , but he said that I had to come to every race from now on .”
Sawyer , who is an emergency medical responder by night for a senior living facility , quickly became part of the team . She immersed herself in learning everything she could , and when Kramer ’ s father , Dave , moved over to servicing the engines , she moved into the official position of back half mechanic .
“ I was terrified at first ; you don ’ t want to forget to tighten down the lug nuts and a tire comes off , and I worried that I wasn ’ t packing the ‘ chutes well enough and Deric would go into the sand ,” she says . “ That ’ s scary , because that ’ s the guy I love driving . But with time , came comfort . I double-check everything I do , and I know what they expect from me now . I know that everything is correct and safe .”
Sawyer , who is 34 years old and resides with Kramer in Colorado , has been in her current role for the past two years , and she ’ s been there for all but one of Kramer ’ s eight Pro Stock wins – his first . When the Topeka race was rained out and the conclusion was moved to a different day , she was already committed to other plans and could not attend .
“ He definitely reminds me of that one , but I ’ ve been there for every win since then ,” she says .
In her free time , not that she has much of it , Sawyer fights in medieval armor as a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism . The SCA is an immersive history group where members dress in clothing of the period and participate in tournaments , royal courts , feasts , dancing , and recreate pre-17th century skills . Sawyer , whose parents joined the SCA when they were 17 , fights in full metal armor with a ratan stick . The SCA is where Sawyer met Kramer , who is a fencer in the society .
She also owns her own metal fabrications business , which she started after learning the craft on the Torchmate CNC plasma cutting table Kramer had in his garage . He wasn ’ t using it , so Sawyer signed up for a class , figured out she really enjoyed it , and started a business . You can find her on Etsy at BeskarFabrications .
Perhaps one of the most common questions asked of a crew member is if they want to drive the race car . For Sawyer , that question is easily answered .
“ We ’ ve thought about it , but my whole thing is that I just very much appreciate working on the car ,” she says . “ I understand that I have someone ’ s dream job , and I didn ’ t even ask for it . People go to school with the sole purpose of doing this , so I never take it for granted . I ’ ve never asked for anything else .” DI
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