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The Sports Report: Lauren Freer’s
History-making double
Lauren Freer became
the 30th driver to
double up at an
NHRA national
event and the first
woman to accomplish
the feat when she
claimed the Super
Comp and Super Gas
titles at the Summit
Racing Equipment
NHRA Nationals
in Norwalk.27 Jun
2023Kevin McKenna,
NHRA National
Dragster Senior
There are two events in NHRA Drag Racing that are special but not exceedingly rare and
that is female winners and national event doubles. Heading into last week’s Summit Racing
Equipment NHRA Nationals, there had been 97 women winners and 29 unique drivers to
double up. Oddly enough, those two pathways hadn’t crossed until last weekend in Norwalk
when Lauren Freer bagged both the Super Comp and Super Gas titles at the Summit Racing
Equipment NHRA Nationals. If you had been looking for a prime candidate to be the first
female to double at an NHRA race, Freer would have been at or near the top of the short list
of favorites. Amongst a sea of talented women drivers in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing
Series, Freer has a record that stands out with four prior wins in nine final rounds in Top
Dragster, Super Comp, and Super Gas. She’s also won a host of divisional events and bigmoney
bracket races, further cementing her reputation as someone to avoid on race day.
Freer doesn’t seem to mind pressure and is universally respected among her peers, both men
and women. A day after winning a pair of Wallys, Freer took to her Facebook page to express
both her emotions and her gratitude to those who helped her.“Wow. I still don’t think it has
set in yet, but the Wallys are still here, so I guess they are staying,” Freer said. “I always told
Dad I wanted to be the first woman to double at a national, and I can’t believe I did it. I can’t
thank everybody
enough for all the
posts and pics and
was so surreal. It’s
been six years since
my last national
event, and this [is]
my first in Super Gas.
Again, thank you to
everybody for all the
posts. [They make]
the weekend even
Freer, like every
other Sportsman
racer in Norwalk, had to be flexible after weather concerns forced the bulk of eliminations
to be completed on Saturday evening. Racing in two categories, Freer stayed busy shuffling
between her Corvette roadster Super Gas entry and her Miller Race Cars-built dragster in
Super Comp. Nothing came easy as Freer squared off against some of the best Super class
racers in the country. In Super Comp, Freer highlighted the day with an almost perfect .001
light against D3 ace Phil Smida, and her road to the Super Gas final may have been even
more challenging with her path blocked by world champs Jeremy Mason and John Labbous Jr.
Saturday’s marathon eliminations stretched late into the evening and well into Sunday
morning with Freer winning 10 straight rounds and reaching the final in both classes.
Sunday afternoon, Freer tackled Super Comp first and notched her first win in seven years
when she overcame Dave Dahlem’s .005 light to win, 8.91 to 8.94. A short time later, she
returned in Super Gas and completed the perfect weekend with a very narrow win against
Pat Martin, 9.911 to 9.916. Both drivers were tuned into the starting line with Freer holding
a very slight .005 to .007 edge off at the start.
“It was just an amazing feeling. It’s been seven years since my last win in Reading, and it’s
incredible to be the first female to do this,” said Freer, who works with cancer patients in her
hometown of Mooresville, N.C.As noted earlier, Freer is the 30th driver to double up at an
NHRA national event, and the feat has been accomplished a total of 45 times, most recently
by Anthony Bertozzi in Pomona earlier this season. The other drivers who have doubled
in Super Comp and Super Gas include some of NHRA’s best: Tommy Phillips, John Labbous
Jr., and Luke Bogacki. For the record, this is also the third double in Norwalk, as Nick Folk
(Super Stock/Super Comp) and Jeff Strickland (Stock/Top Dragster) each scored a pair of wins
at Summit Motorsports Park in 2017.
Following her historic achievement, Freer had a long list of people to thank, including her
husband, her parents, B.B. Williams, Jason Bator, John Labbous Jr., Ray Miller Race Cars,
Luke Bogacki, Michael Scott of Right Trailers, Brett Nesbitt of Nesbitt Performance, APD
Carburetors and Joey Hessling, Hughes Converters, Mickey Thompson, Janet and Jeff Miller,
Todd Paton, Tisha Wilson, and Rhonda McCole.

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