Drag Illustrated Issue 176, May / June 2022 - Page 52

Special Section
RIKKI MOLNAR HAS BEEN AROUND RACING FOR MOST OF HER LIFE , BUT HER DRIVING CAREER IS A SOMEWHAT RECENT DEVEL- OPMENT . HER FASCINATION WITH THE SPORT BEGAN YEARS AGO WHEN SHE ’ D WATCH HER FAMILY MEMBERS RACE IN FLORIDA AND HER NATIVE OHIO . THAT PROGRESSED INTO GETTING INTO THE DRIVER ’ S SEAT HERSELF WITH THE HELP OF HER HUSBAND , TOP SPORTSMAN VETERAN TIM MOLNAR , AND NOW SHE ’ S A SERIOUS CONTENDER IN THE PDRA ’ S LUCAS OIL TOP DRAGSTER PRESENTED BY LARIS MOTORSPORTS INSURANCE CLASS . ¶ “ MY UNCLE DENNY NEIGHBOR RACED LATE MODELS ON ASPHALT TRACKS IN FLORIDA ,” MOLNAR BEGINS . “ WE WOULD GO DOWN EVERY SPRING BREAK WITH MY UNCLE KURT NEIGHBOR AND MY
mom , Joyce , and watch Uncle Denny and my cousin Denny race . My uncle Kurt has raced everything from Pro Gas with his ‘ Cobra Venom ’ car to alcohol Funny Car to now he is getting his feet wet in Mountain Motor Pro Stock with the PDRA . But mostly I would go to Dragway 42 and watch my brother , Troy Hrdlicka , run his Mach 1 every chance I would get , to now watching him race in the UMTR with his stick-shift Mustang .”
Several years ago , the Molnars found a dragster for Rikki , and she headed off to Frank Hawley ’ s Drag
Racing School to learn the ropes . She started running some local bracket races and a few races in Super Comp in her car before moving up to PDRA Top Dragster in Tim ’ s dragster . In 2020 , she won her first race , the PDRA Mid-Atlantic Showdown at Virginia Motorsports Park , a performance that remains her most memorable achievement to date .
“ My car only had a 540ci engine at the time , so I would run [ Tim ’ s ] car in PDRA until he bought me my current 632ci for Christmas – best Christmas ever ,” laughs Molnar , who
also won an NHRA Division 1 race at VMP in 2021 . “ I ’ d made it to many semi- or quarterfinals , even one final , in my car but never winning . It was my first year running nitrous in Top Dragster with the PDRA .”
Last season was a banner year for the Molnars . Along with Rikki ’ s NHRA divisional win and a runnerup finish in PDRA competition , Tim ended up winning the MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman presented by US Rail world championship . Driving his nitrous-fed ’ 68 Camaro , Tim won the season opener and added late-round finishes at nearly every
race to secure the title . Rikki finished eighth in Top Dragster points .
Drag Illustrated recently caught up with Rikki to talk about her racing background , her success in the competitive PDRA sportsman ranks , and her goals moving forward .
What is it about Top Dragster that appeals to you ? I love racing in general . We go every chance we get , local or not . Top Dragster is such a competitive class . The people that run the class were very welcoming when we first
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