ZX-14R Zero to Hero Challenge Winner Slick Wicked Angie Young Goes to Atlanta
By Paul Cavanaugh
Here is a story I could not even make up…
You are a 40 year old single mom with three kids; you are living paycheck to paycheck and see an ad which tells you to send in an essay stating why you should get to race Rickey Gadson to win a new ZX-14. (Ignoring the fact that you have only raced a motorcycle about 20 times or so on TNT nights and in a few local races.)
Low and behold you get a phone call telling you to pack your things and come to Las Vegas because your essay has been chosen out of 3,800 finalists allowing you to compete with 3 other people for the Kawasaki ZX-14R.
But first there is this little NHRA license thing you have to qualify for before you can race.
You try and try, but are not able to get the bike into the 10.15 or less time needed to acquire the license. That is until the last pass you have left. (The full range of emotions was used during this very nerve racking experience, this includes tears from all out distress, all the way to tears of joy.)
Ultimately you overcome the adversity only to find yourself racing the fastest rider of the 8 with the most experience in the first round. Once again you plow through this challenge as well as the ones after it to finally race Rickey Gadson in a best 2 out of 3 to win the ZX-14R.
And guess what? You get the bike.
A CHANCE MEETING
Friday nights I go up to Atlanta Dragway to watch the TNT motorcycles. Being that I have not been released from my ACL injury to race myself I have been using the time to work with other racers in their pursuit of speed.
At the tech booth when I am getting my wrist band and signing the waiver the tech inspectors give me a rundown of who has shown up with bikes. “There are 3 women here riding one bike tonight.”
“All of them on the bike at the same time?” I ask.
That question was ignored and he responded, “One of them just won some new bike from some contest they were in.”
“Did she have black hair and her name was Angie?” I asked on a whim.
“Yep, that was her.”
Sure enough I go down to the staging lanes and there is Angie Young the proud winner of the Zero to Hero Challenge sitting on "Black Betty" a GSXR 1000 that kind of looks like a stealth version of a drag bike if the military made one.
Lisa Campbell -
Aspen Ridge Photos
Young tells me the ZX-14R is undergoing a transformation to become “Dragula” the race bike. So far Brock’s Performance has supplied an exhaust system, clutch mod, Power Commander and lowering kit for the bike. Roaring Toyz will also supply an extended swingarm, chain and sprockets.
A little bit about Angie and Slick Wicked
It turns out Angie is quite the blue collar girl. She has developed a paint style that looks like a snake skin, but not only does it look like snake skin it has the texture too. Because of this paint finish, she earned the nickname “Slick Wicked”.
Young has been hanging around with a group of women who like to ride motorcycles and race them along with a truck they have. This is the foundation of the “Slick Wicked” race team created in 2004 whose goal is to introduce women to the sport of drag racing.
To promote the team they have a Facebook site which gets tons of traffic, they have been in the Anderson, SC local newspapers, on local radio shows and taking it a step farther they had a “Sizzle Reel” filmed of them last year to have pitched for a reality TV show. Winning the ZX-14R has really propelled the exposure the team gets to new limits.
In short, this is an industrious group of women who are very resourceful and like to make an impact. Like their t-shirt says,” We are not the girl next door; we are the bitch across the street.”
(Anecdote to the T-shirt: Angie asked me at the track if I would wear one of their t-shirts if she gave me one. This is a much different way to phrase the question then most people do when they ask if you want a t-shirt. Two days later I am wearing the shirt at Home Depot and Stephanie says, “You just put that shirt on without reading it didn’t you?” Hence the reason Angie phrased the question the way she did.)
Practice, practice, practice
Watching Angie race down the track made me quickly realize this was a woman who had no fear and a passion to race. At least she had two important parts of the racing puzzle in place. Now she had to get the rest of the program going.
Admittedly, Angie was looking for help, this was her 2nd season on the bike and she had not actually participated in a lot of races other than your basic TNT’s. She had no set routine, causing her to forget to put air pressure in the airshifter or have the bike in 2nd gear at the line instead of 1st. She also was not sure about what to look for when finding the groove and in general had a lot of questions.
Lisa Campbell -
Aspen Ridge Photos
Young had participated in Rickey Gadson’s drag racing school in Las Vegas, Young said it helped her out a lot, without it she would possibly not have earned her NHRA license at the Challenge, in hindsight she thinks she would have got even better if she would have had more seat time prior to taking it. Nevertheless, Young recommends anyone who wants to race should go to Gadson’s school.
The best pass made by Young in the two TNT’s she has been to so far is a 10.90. At the last session she has learned to get a routine in place before approaching the line so she does the same thing each time. She has also worked at staging the same way each time and leaving the line more smoothly. Young is a quick study and eager to learn.
June 30th is the Night of Fire at Atlanta Dragway, depending on how well Young does at the Friday night TNT prior she may race in the event.
“Dragula” is to debut in its drag racing form at a big unveiling party on July 13th.
More practice to get Angie’s times down and get her racing in the Summit ET Bracket Racing Series for the rest of the year.
Special Thanks to