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Southeast Gassers

Warning, longer post..since posting a lot more of our racing life lately I have been asked a couple times by people not familiar with racing how I feel about having other women in the pics with our car…my response is always, “doesn’t it look beautiful”. These ladies are an important part of the SEGA Championship Series. TJ and I appreciate them tremendously. The SEGA Back Up Girls aka BUGS are present at every race and some of them are on the starting line in the beat down heat for 6+ hours while the rest of us run for some shade and air conditioning in between runs. They are Wives, Moms, Aunts, Friends and Family. They make sure these cars are lined up in the water box to create a great burnout and make sure they are “in the groove” when backing or pulling them up to the line. Tj has even said he can feel BUG Elizabeth Noel pulling back on his car to make sure he is lined up at the tree. These ladies also work with the track employees at the starting line…they know what these driver’s like and need and they know that a slick starting line keeps these required wheel standing cars grounded. Some of them pull double duty as BUG and driver and many even help work on the cars. Bottom line, many of these drivers trust and depend on these ladies as part of their team to help them get to the next round.--Kelly Cribs York




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2020 BACK UP GIRLS IN ACTION


MORE 2020 PHOTOS-CLICK HERE







RILEY WELCH

   I was first interested in drag racing when I was 11 when my dad bought his model A and built it to race at a few nostalgia races a year. Right before I turned 16,

I decided I wanted something to race and drive on the street and purchased a 1966 Dodge Dart to build at home. I race it every summer at a nearby nostalgia race.

It was my daily driver in high school and now I drive it whenever I'm home from college. When my brother bought his car to build for the Southeast Gassers

I decided to be his BUG to be involved in his racing. I enjoy being around drag racing in any way that I can.

MARY BETH HAYNES

I'm Daniel Haynes' BUG for The Patriot. We've been married for 18 years. We have two kids, Nicolas and Rebekah. 2019 was our first year racing and my first year being a BUG. Between Daniel teaching me about how to look for the groove and the other girls giving me the encouragement to be out front, I've gained tons of confidence being out front for him! I feel like I'm more apart of the team (even though it's just us). As the year went on I started to BUG for other teams. I now help Bobby Frizzell, Rick Varner, and George Miller.

JENNY MOSES

The first time I ever had the nerve to back up my husband's car, The Ol' Dirty Bastard, I was pregnant with my third baby, Jase. I have been around drag racing for years, Justin and I met at a track in Commerce, but the opportunity to be a BUG all happened within SEGA. It was exhilarating and terrifying to walk up to the line at first, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Over 5 years into this crazy BUG life, I have also started driving my own SEGA racecar and I feel like I learn many new things every time we go to the track. I have been able to back up and support many drivers and am honored to race side by side with them. Even when going gets tough, there have been many fans and SEGA members that support us and I really feel like we have the best association and extended family ever.

ELIZABETH PHILLIPS

Daughter of Larry Noel, the driver of The Crazy Horse and married to Kenneth Phillips, the driver of Silver Streak ll. I started being a BUG when my husband asked me to back him up. I was so nervous since I had never backed anyone up, just watched from the starting lane. I watched Megan Phillips to learn how to be the BUG I am now. I have been with SEGA watching my father and my mother as his BUG for years. Drag racing has been in our family, when I was little my father would take us to NHRA races. My father always had dreams of racing and now they are coming true. I'm blessed to be part of such an amazing racing family.

SHARON DAVIS

Sharon has been around racing with me since 1979 when we started dirt track racing. When we went to our first SEGA race in Union, SC in 2017, we both fell in love with the whole deal. Sharon got the idea to help after watching some of the other BUGS. She only backs up the Spinny car and sees a whole different side of the sport. Sharon loves helping out and I will be the first to say she has gotten the hang of it and does a great job!

(this was written by her husband, Spinny Davis)

KENDA MORGAN

I've always loved all racing since I was small. I went to all the races with my dad and as I gotten older I wished I could be closer to cars, like a photographer or just helping because I enjoy the rumble of the engines. I met Ron Drake in 2015, he loves to race and build fast cars, so he decided to build a gasser. I helped him a lot, then we joined SEGA and he said I could get down there. I was skeptical because in my mind girls don't wear boots to the track, but with his encouragement along with a couple of other BUGS I decided to try it. Now I love it!

JACLYN DUNCAN

My dad, Dale Morton, began racing with SEGA in 2018 and when he started he said "I can't do this without all my girls" implying me, my mom, and Lucille! I have grown up around cars and racing but never had the courage to be on the track. SEGA and being my dad's BUG helped changed that. Christy, Jenny, and Mary Beth are all great mentors and teachers. I have only backed up for my dad's Lucille due to my hectic work schedule, but getting to a race is always a great day!

KAYLEE SMITH

I am the daughter of Stephen and Holly Smith. My family got started with SEGA back in 2016 when my dad got the idea to start a merchandise store to help promote races and draw more fans in. I grew up being very introverted and being severely shy. 2018 was my first time out there as a BUG. I was a nervous wreck but with the encouragement of drivers and other BUGS I knew I had nothing to worry about. After becoming a BUG I have become more outgoing and I back up more cars every year. I'm hoping one day to be able to race side by side the other drivers in my own car! I regularly back up Rocky Platt's The Dixie Twister, Jimmy Huff's Hoopty Wagon, Travis Owen's Born to Boogie, Chris Dunn's Boogieman, and Adam Lowhorn's The Rodslinger. I get so excited at every race and look forward to it all over again the next year. Being a BUG has honestly been one the best things for my life.

Cynthia Phillips was introduced to the racing world in 1985 at 17 years old. By the early 1990's, Quain and her started racing Pro Mod but didn't have the money to have a full-time crew like the other professional teams had. She and Quain went on the road full time and she quickly became a professional back up girl. She said, "It was just Quain and I so I had to learn how to help do the maintenance on the car. "There were many nights I worked all night helping Quain rebuild the engine to be ready to race the next day." She quickly learned how to read the race track because no one else was there to do it. It was often said 'she could read a race track better than most men'. Once the sponsor's started coming and they were lucky enough to have a crew, she became team manager and was responsible for keeping the crew in line as she was still performing her duties as a backup girl for Quain. Cynthia has seen all the ups and downs of racing and the bad side of being on the road for sometimes over a month at a time for 36 years.