Sandwiched smack in the middle of the championship battle was a 16-year-old girl from Idaho. No stranger to racing, Sierra Jackson's resume includes more than 10 years behind the wheel beginning at age 6 in a box stock cage kart. She eventually made her way to the 360 Sprint Cars she runs now, her first taste coming courtesy of Meridian's Ken Hamilton. "I let her drive 'The Pink Lady' (Hamilton's iconic Sprint Car from the late '60s) and she loved it," says Hamilton, the father of open wheel star, Davey Hamilton. "She's talented, has great focus, and listens to everything you tell her do."

Her rookie season in the highly competitive NSRA was 2008, and in her first year with the series, she had a legitimate shot to win the title, which no doubt added that much more excitement to the weekend. Jackson's title shot is even all the more impressive when you consider she couldn't run all the races. "I had to skip the first race because I was only 15 (ASA/NSRA minimum age is 16) and so we only ran 12 races this year," explains the teen.

Coming into the series and immediately challenging for the title gave her a unique view of the NSRA's show. "It's much more competitive than our weekly show," says Jackson, who raced at Meridian when the NSRA schedule would allow. "We still get 18 Sprint Cars at the track every week, but NSRA was more competitive."

In the midst of that competition Sierra noted something about the NSRA racers. "They all were very friendly. Even though it's very competitive, the racers all hang out and talk to one another in the pits."

Jackson made her mark on the NSRA in 2008. In addition to finishing Second in season points to Hein, she won the A-Main at Ephrata, WA, to become both the youngest driver and first woman to win in ASA/NSRA competition. She plans on running the NSRA schedule next year in pursuit of the title and will be joined by many of the same series regulars who have competed on the circuit for years.

Future The future for the NSRA is looking good. It's in a position where it can pick and choose at which tracks it wants to race. "We don't have to go hunt races, we have more demand than we can meet," admits Sullivan. And with a 16-year-old phenom whose stated goal is to run the Indy 500 by the time she's 21, the NSRA is definitely a series to check out if you're ever up in the Pacific Northwest.