Move over Danica Patrick, Jordyn Skaggs is a high-octane teen with a racing resume filled with gold. Although she’s only 13, she races like a bat out of hell with no signs of slowing down for any of the boys she competes with.
Hailing from a family of motocross racers, competition and gasoline seem to pump through Skaggs’ blood. It wasn’t until her father Jerry took her to a race featuring side-by-sides (a type of all-terrain-vehicle) that Jordyn decided she wanted to put the pedal to the metal as well. Soon after, Jordyn got her own race car and her racing career in short-course side-by-side burst out of the starting gate in 2018.
“One day we saw online there was a side-by-side race near us and my dad said, ‘you know what? We’re going to go to that.’ So, we headed there and I see all these kids my age getting in these tiny cars and driving around this track. I was just amazed at it,” Skaggs said talking about how her passion for racing ignited. “A week after that I went on a Disney trip with my aunt. When I got back, my dad told me to go grab him a wrench from the trailer, and when I went in my first car was in there and that’s where it all started.”
According to Jerry, his daughter started out in a side-by-side that was a 170 (referring to the size of the engine and corresponding speed capability). She then moved up to a 570, won championships in both of those divisions before aging out. Now at 13, she’s driving a Polaris RS1 which is a 1,000 that can reach speeds up to 90 miles per hour. Of course, Skaggs’ father isn’t thrilled at how fast these young racers are going but won’t let nervousness steer his daughter off course.
“Jordyn’s been doing really well. We did some Lucas Oil racing which is some stuff you’d see on TV. Locally, she’s got a room full of trophies. She won championships at 170 and 570 in different racing leagues and has dozens and dozens of seconds and thirds. She spends a lot of time on the winners’ podium,” Jerry said recalling his daughter’s successes. “She has half a dozen podiums this year, but had a really bad crash last race in August and pretty much totaled the car. It was the third turn in the first race of the day and 100 percent wasn’t her fault.”
Jordyn walked away unscathed because not only do these side-by-sides have steel roll-cages to protect the racer, the racers themselves wear helmets, neck braces and fire suits as well.
While many would have written off the speed demoness, the racing community pulled through. Competitors see each other every week, form close bonds and this racing family lent parts and helped get car 851 ready with only 10 minutes to spare before the next race. Albeit was only 60 percent race-ready, running on two-wheel drive with crooked alignment, Jordyn managed to finish fourth with enough points to win third overall in the season championship.
“I’d definitely say go for it,” Jordyn said offering words of advice to any young ladies who are thinking about racing. “There’s nothing stopping you. And if you’re doubting yourself about going out and trying and thinking all the boys are going to come after you, you just have to move people out of your way and keep going. You can’t let those little flies in your head and actual people stop you from doing it.”
To stay up-to-date on Winters’ resident speed racer, one can follow her on Instagram by searching @851skaggs.