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Wilma Sisbarro

Grandmother, drag racer

Posted

About me

I’m a retired housewife who’s been living in Colorado for 16 years. I have one child who’s 43, and three grandkids.

I’m from Maryland — I used to work for a newspaper, and three times a week I would actually go pick up physical copy from a newspaper in Brooklyn and drive it back to Maryland. Sometimes I’d be sitting there at 2 in the morning in Brooklyn, and it was scary because there were always people roaming the streets no matter the time.

When I got divorced, I reconnected with a guy I worked with who had moved to Colorado, and we married a year later in Las Vegas. We went to the Tropicana and got hitched in their little chapel.

I love Colorado — it doesn’t matter if it’s snowing, people are still running around in shorts.

Hot rod grandmama

I drag race at Bandimere — I’ve been doing that for about 13 years now. I drive a 1969 Dodge Coronet. My husband was already into it when we married and he kept trying to get me behind the wheel. I finally gave it a shot and I loved it.

We’re in a car club and we meet once or twice a month, and compete against other car clubs.

The first time I did it, I was pretty nervous, but I thought, how bad can it be? You just go straight. It’s about your reaction time with the light. You’ve got to predict your expected time as closely as possible. I get up to around a hundred miles an hour.

Some women have tried it out and aren’t such a fan, but I love the fun and excitement.

It’s helped me be more comfortable with things that I thought were scary.

Off the track, I never speed, and I never get traffic tickets. I obey the rules. When I leave the drag strip, though, after the race, when I’m merging onto C-470, I really want to put the hammer down.

Normally I drive a Dodge Durango — it’s not a race car, but I like a big ol’ 8-cylinder engine under the hood.

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