STAMFORD, Conn. — When Sarah Edwards saw a picture on Facebook of excited kids gathered around a fellow race car driver during an elementary school appearance, she told herself, “I’m doing this one day.” She did.
With ecstatic fourth-graders watching, Edwards revved up her 1,000-horsepower dragster in the parking lot at Stamford's Julia A. Stark Elementary on Monday morning. The sound drew the attention of curious students in nearby classrooms, who rushed to the windows to get a better look.
It was a homecoming of sorts for Edwards, who addressed the fourth-graders studying physics and motion, in the same auditorium where she once sat as a student.
Many don’t remember elementary school well, she said. But Edwards looks back fondly on her days at the school that she “absolutely loved.”
Many of Edwards’ former teachers were in the audience, including John Specht. He proudly watched as she started the engines of her dragster in the school parking lot after the brief lecture.
“It’s amazing, it’s really neat,” Specht, who taught Edwards math, said of her visit.
Specht said Edwards was the “last person in the world” you would expect to drive a race car. He was surprised when another teacher told him she saw a video of Edwards racing.
A quiet, well-rounded, “lovely” student to have in class, Specht said Edwards was hardly a tomboy at all in her elementary school days.
But the name of her team — Queen Bee Racing — comes from the fact that she is the “queen” among her many guy friends.
Her parents also used to call her “Sarah Bee.” That nickname also influenced her team’s name, Edwards said.
Edwards’ car, which weights 1,800 pounds, can reach speeds of 180 mph in seven-and-a-half seconds. Its engine, a big block Chevy, is 1,100 horsepower and runs on alcohol.
Edwards, who acquired the car from another racer, had dreamed of racing since middle school. Her journey toward attaining the proper license for her dragster was not without bumps.
Edwards traveled with her dad to Pennsylvania to obtain the license, but she didn’t pass on the first try. She told her dad, “We’re not leaving this class until I get my license.”
Her determination has paid off. Today she is a licensed race car driver.
Eyes on the future, Edwards has another goal: She plans to drive even faster cars.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.