By Teresa Crowder
In this fast-paced world, we often find ourselves racing from one activity to another. Amy Thompson and her team from Mountain City, TN, take this literally. With her husband Brandon, the couple has their own team consisting of their children Macey, Michael, and Izzy.
As a family dedicated and immersed in the sport of racing, and keep the roads hot. Beginning as young as three, Amy fondly recollects her desire to get behind the wheel. Duke Snyder, Amy’s father, started her out young in this sport. “I think my dad was always a little scared to put his little girl behind the wheel,” she said.
Amy started out with the car checking the air pressure and helped get the car dialed in. A dial-in time is used to establish a handicap start in a bracket race in bracket racing. The dial-in is the driver’s estimated elapsed time (ET). Their car will run in the competition and allow just about two vehicles to compete with a handicap start. They didn’t compete in heads-up race, which is first to the end wins. They ran bracket races. When Amy had kids, she always thought it would be cool to get them JR Dragsters. These are racecars for kids, and they can start racing as young as five now.
She got Michael his first car at the age of 12, and at that same time, Izzy got her first car. “I didn’t know anything about those little demon cars,” she said. “We had to learn a lot. They are nothing like big cars – they are a small motor with one piston and can be tricky to tame. I learned quickly about the mechanical side of racing, and it is not easy, and I am confident I will never master it. I am not sure how many bolts I have rung off or broken, but there have been a few in my learning.”
Michael was successful in that car, and several races were won in it. He was featured in the NHRA Jr Dragster magazine. Macey decided she wanted to race when she was 15.
She began to race in Michael’s car, and the Thompsons built a new Mike Bos car for Michael since he had grown so tall, he couldn’t fit. At this time, the family had two cars in and just learned as they went.
The family had fun, but most of the success came in the first older Mike Bos car. Macey had a lot of luck in that old car and won several races. Michael and Amy never got a real good handle on the new one. Later, the family sold both cars and purchased an S10 with a 355 Small Block Chevy engine. “We are still racing the truck, and my husband, Brandon, has a Dragster that he races. I haven’t driven the truck much, but the kids are always telling me to race it, so I think I may give it a whirl next year. I spent all my life helping people race, so that is kind of a new concept for me”, reveals Amy.
According to Amy and her family, one of the many cool things about racing is that you get to spend all your weekends hanging out with family and friends. She always knew where the kids were on race weekends – right there with her. They have made incredible memories together and will continue to do so. There have been so many people that make racing possible for them, and Amy gives thanks as she mentions them: “Chris Wilcox – my awesome boss has helped in our racing. Larry Snead in Bristol is the best engine builder and just an all-around awesome guy to go for when we have questions (which is very often).
Sonny and Earl Gambill have been a tremendous help over the years and Sonny’s Grandson Dylan Simcox. John and David Holloway, Michael Kite, and Ryan
Arnold always help us if needed.
“Of course, my Dad, Duke Snyder, is where it all started for me. Charlie Thompson, my father-in-law, has also been very helpful to us anytime we need it,” she said.