Drag racing is a family affair for the Lemals.
Almost 30 years ago Drumheller Mail editor Ossie Sheddy snapped a photo of Al Lemal with his full size front engine dragster. And now nearly three decades later, his children Jessica and Jason are continuing the tradition with their own junior dragsters.
In July 2008 the family was on a trip to the Barnes farm when Jason, Grade 9, spotted a junior dragster among the weeds. After a year of watching Jason race, Jessica decided to pick up the habit too.
The two regularly attend drag races, most recently racing in the Hanna Drag Races two weeks ago which saw Jason finishing first and Jessica third.
“The whole racing experience has been awesome,” says their mother Jacquie, who has become Jessica’s crew chief. “Besides teaching them how to drive, they have learned there is a proper place to race, the drag strip, not the street.
“From just the racing itself to the people we meet at the track who all share a common interest, it’s been great.”
With his experience with his junior drag, Jason will be pursuing a career as a mechanic when he’s older.
The two dragsters, Jason’s newer 2008 M/T Pinnacle Lite and the first dragster Jessica has taken off his hands, run on alcohol. Jason’s best run to date was 9.27 seconds on the 1/8th mile dragstrip at 70 miles per hour, and Jessica ran 9.83 seconds at 65 miles per hour at the recent Hanna races.
“Jessica has been a real natural right from the start,” says dad Al. “The faster the car the faster she goes. Jason is getting much faster as we can buy more parts and make him faster. It’s something we’ll keep going.”