A young Canadian lady racer has plans to be even more involved within the sport of drag racing this coming season….

It’s safe to say that Yvonne Grace Potter, may have been pre-wired for the sport of drag racing from a very early age. 

And this determined daughter to reputed Canadian drag racing historian Rob Potter (also track announcer at Cayuga Dragway), who has over the past few seasons been deeply involved with the Paton Racing Top Fuel dragster team, will shift her priority to being a driver this year.

Yvonne, along with her boy friend Mark Morris (Paton Racing) will run their own race car this summer with Yvonne’s focus being educating herself as a driver within the popular Race Cayuga Sportsman Series at Toronto Motorsports Park.

Based from Paris Ontario, Yvonne and Mark have put the finishing touches on a dragster which they acquired a couple years ago from now exhibition Jet Truck driver – Rick Kopp (Burlington ON).

Yvonne Grace Potter

“The dragster is a 240″ Mike Bos dragster previously raced by Rick in TD,”  Yvonne revealed.  “It now has a 468″ alcohol injected BBC motor and should be right around 800 hp.  This year we plan to run in the Super Pro (7.90 index) class. I’m looking forward to actually racing at the track that I have spent so much time at while growing up and going to with my Dad.”

After completing her licensing process last August — the 2019 season will mark her first ever season campaign.  

“My first trip down a drag strip actually came driving my Dad’s ’67 Rambler,” she continued.  “But I always knew I wanted to drive a dragster and it has been a real dream come true to put this car together with Mark.  Since obtaining my license we have made some upgrades (new headers, vacuum system, changed rear gears) in order to run quick and consistently this season.”

Up to this point in her career Yvonne has been heavily involved in the Paton Racing camp — some 7 years running.

Not only does she assist in that team’s PR effort she is also very hands-on in the pit area and when the car runs down the track.

“At Paton Racing my main responsibilities include piston and rod assembly, supercharger service, and handling fuel duties.  I work with Mark in the shop daily, whether working on the Top Fuel car or our own cars/projects. Learning the Top Fuel dragster from front to back is really what sparked my interest in getting behind the wheel.”

Yvonne’s involvement with the Paton Racing Top Fuel team is and has been very much “hands on”.

While trips down the quarter-mile in her own Super Pro dragster is now her most immediate priority — it’s also safe to say that Yvonne’s long term future in drag racing does include some other possibilities as well as some more lofty goals.

Behind the scenes the team does have a second race car project too — that is the Spitzer chassis dragster which Rick and Jeff Chatterson did campaign with that unique supercharged Ford motor program a few years ago.  

“That is a Top Dragster build in the works – just starting out,” she affirmed.  “We want to run that at some point — but in 2019 my immediate plan is to get as much seat time and as many laps as possible in my Super Pro dragster.  I would also like to try to license in A/Fuel dragster within the next couple of years and spend some time driving in the TAD class.  That’s all part of continuing to chase my dream of moving into Top Fuel one day.”

Licensing process at Cayuga last summer! (Photo courtesy of Stacee Kenington-Richards)

And importantly, Yvonne’s aspirations this year are being supported by the Fastenal company who have signed on as a sponsor for her rookie season as a driver.

“Thank you Fastenal for that,” she emphasized, “And thank you Barry Paton, Mark Morris and the entire Paton team for their constant support.”

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler