The team will be traveling to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania on May 20-21, 2011 as the event headliner for the International Hot Rod Association's '' Professional Tour.


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Birthdate: 9/10/1981
Birth Place: Melbourne, Florida
Current Home Base: Gainesville, Florida
Add Additional Information: I drive a Top Alcohol Dragster for NHRA. in Div 2.
Who started you: Ron Griffis (father)
Biggest influence: My dad, I watched him race comp elem growing up and his knowlege of the sport was so inspirational
Women you admire: Ashley Force, Kate Harker, Lindsey Woods, Jeanie Booze, Shelly Howard
Father's Thoughts: He is very proud
Your encouragement to others: You can do anything that you put your mind to!
Description: I love and respect speed in ever aspect.

Why do you love racing? It is a part of my life that excites my soul.. Racing gives me the power to break away from every day life, and takes me to a non reality world that I can't live without... I respect every aspect of my nitro dragster..
Hobbies: going to the beach, swimming and RACING
First Race Car: Jr Dragster at age 11
Personal Status: Married and mother of 2 kids
Personal Car: Lincoln, Navigator
Favorite Music: Alternative Rock
Favorite Movie: Halloween
Favorite Food: Eggplant Parmesan
Interesting Fact or Facts About Yourself:

1. I am one of the very few female drivers that drives a Pro Nitro/ TAD race car in the country.. 2. I work on the bottom end of the engine on my race car after every pass.
3. I received both my Florida state drivers license and my NHRA Super Comp license on my 16th birthday.
4. My father is a chassis builder and the owner of both Innovative Chassis and my race car.

URL Photo: insidetopalcholol, nhra, innovativechassisworks

Raced a A/fuel dragster since I was 17 and placed Top 5 in Division 2
Career best time 5.59 in 1/4 mile


Cherissa Griffis-Smallwood drives a Nitro Dragster in IHRA's Pro Fuel and NHRA's A/Fuel. 5.48et at 260mph, & on IHRA's Nitro Jam Tour for 2011.


Pro Tour

The team will be traveling to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania on May 20-21, 2011 as the event headliner for the International Hot Rod Association's '' Professional Tour.

Voted as one the most popular drivers on the NitroJam circuit for 2011. Cherissa Smallwood will have the thousands in attendance standing on their feet, chanting her name every time she pilots her Dragster into competition. While the roaring fans get the 'Ultimite' taste of real Nitro racing at it's finest.

Place this date on your calendars.


Cherissa Smallwood Looking for First Iron Man Victory in The Alamo

The Pro Fuel Dragster Team is traveling more than 1200 miles this weekend from their Florida home to compete in one of the largest United States landmark cities, The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas.

In 11 years of competition within the injected nitro dragster class, this is the first time that Smallwood will pilot her dragster at an IHRA Sanctioned Event within the State of Texas.

“We are very fortunate to be on the IHRA Nitro Jam Tour and invited to so many great tracks” noted Smallwood, “we’ve been looking forward to coming to San Antonio all year. In addition to racing history, this city has an incredible place in US History that makes it even more exciting for us to be here.

“The IHRA fans have been so supportive at every race we go to. It’s more than just racing, there is so much interaction that it’s just an absolute blast. We are very thankful that we have this opportunity to race our car”.

In addition to competition this weekend, the Team is also very proud to announce that they received their first order of Fan T-Shirts that made it to their Florida shop just before the transporter left the East Coast.

Gates open both days, April 1st and 2nd, at 9:00 a.m. with sportsman racing throughout the morning and afternoon. FanFest will begin both days at 5:30 p.m. followed by two rounds of Nitro Jam beginning at 7:00 p.m. All of the professional nitro classes and exhibition acts will run twice each night.

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Multi-talented racer Cherissa Smallwood joins Nitro Jam

Nitro Jam’s roster of decorated racers continues to grow as Pro Fuel star Cherissa Smallwood has announced her intention to run the rest of the season with the Nitro Jam series.

Smallwood, a fulltime racer and mother of two, has spent the past 17 years racing various sportsman classes with the NHRA and is excited to make her debut with the brand new Pro Fuel class on the Nitro Jam circuit beginning at Rockingham Dragway’s Spring Nitro Jam May 1-2.

“As a racer you work so hard to gain recognition and as a driver of Pro Fuel this will allow our team to be in the spotlight of thousands,” Smallwood said. “We were drawn to the IHRA because it has shown so much appreciation and professionalism to the sport of drag racing. I can’t wait to get out there and meet the fans.”

On top of her racing career Smallwood is also a mother of two and a surgical technician in Jacksonville, two tough tasks that, as Smallwood will admit, sometimes creates a need to escape.

“Racing is the one place I feel stress free. My non-reality world as I call it,” Smallwood said. “Racing comes natural to me so it makes me feel at ease.”

Smallwood says that her comfort within the sport comes from her father Ron Griffis, a chassis builder and owner of Innovative Chassis, who has kept Smallwood around the sport her entire life.

“He has drag raced since I was a baby,” Smallwood said. “Watching him race as I was growing up was inspiring. I was always hands on with the cars and I also helped work on transmissions or drive the tow vehicle because it was always just dad and I.”

Today Smallwood’s racing operation has become a full family affair with father Ron Griffis, husband Tim Smallwood and the entire family working on the car and helping Smallwood realize her dream.

“I always knew I would race and that my dad would build the cars and in him doing so he has provided me a safe and fast reacting car to show off my driving talent,” Smallwood said. “My first dream when I was starting out was, as a woman racer, to gain the respect of my fellow drivers. I feel I have accomplished that. My second dream was to race an injected nitro dragster and my father and grandmother helped make that happen.

“I raced junior dragsters starting at age 11, Super Comp at age 16 and Alcohol Dragsters/Pro Fuel at age 17 to now so I have certainly accomplished my goals. Now it is all about having fun and enjoying what I do.”

Smallwood will complete the Pro Fuel field for the Rockingham race as she goes up against some very tough competitors in Nitro Jam’s newest nitro-fueled class. Similar to Top Fuel, Pro Fuel is a more affordable nitro dragster class with the same excitement and rush as Top Fuel.

She will compete alongside Bill Evans, Jeff Hamelink, Robin Samsel, Mike Manners, Brandon Pierce, Buddy Domingue and fellow newcomer Guy Kelly at the Spring Nitro Jam event.

So as someone who has been around the sport her entire life, how does Smallwood approach the involvement of her own young children in today’s drag racing scene?

“I am honored to be able to introduce this sport to my kids. I speak to my daughter about the what ifs of this sport. She is four, but she knows mommy drives fast,” Smallwood said. “My son is to young, but he goes and enjoys watching the cars.

“It can be hard to look in the tow vehicle and see your kids just before a pass, but I put my faith in God and trust he watches over us.”



Nitro Jam’s roster of decorated racers continues to grow as Pro Fuel star Cherissa Smallwood has announced her intention to run the rest of the season with the Nitro Jam series.



 12 races in NHRA Lucus Oil..

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