KATHY FISHER AND THE FIERY COMPETITOR BEHIND THE VOICE
You may know the voice.
The sweet, to-the-point storyteller behind decades of motorsports television programing ranging from drag racing to truck and tractor pulls to car shows and everything in between.
You may know the face.
The bubbly blonde with a heart of gold, guiding you through the latest CompetitionPlusTV race recaps and how-to videos, or showcasing her day-to-day life in compelling online reality television.
But do you know the fiery competitor behind it all?
That, to her at least, is the true face of Kathy Fisher.
First hopping behind the wheel of a racecar at the age of 15 and gradually working her way through faster and more challenging rides, from a brand new Z28 Camaro she saved up to purchase in her late 20s to the super quick dragster she currently campaigns in Top Dragster, Fisher has always cherished her time in the sport she considers her entire world.
“The sport of drag racing has just been in my blood since day one. My entire life, anything that I could do to get involved with the sport, whether on the media side or in the seat, I did,” Fisher said. “I just love to be involved. From the aftermarket side of it to the racing side. To this day, anything I can do to involve myself on and off the track with drag racing just means the world to me.”
From her early years in radio, to a variety of motorsports television opportunities with Masters Entertainment, to her stint with Performance TV, Fisher has made a name for herself in front of the camera.
But on the side, Fisher lives the very life she preaches, campaigning a variety of classes with the NHRA, IHRA, PDRA and regionally, winning races and using her time on the media side to better understand and hone her abilities on the track.
“It has all really helped me to be more rounded,” Fisher said. “Being able to ask the right questions to people, to absorb from them, from the drivers and tuners and crew chiefs, it is all just about constantly learning from their experiences. What are they doing, what are they trying to do. Trying to apply that to our own program.
“And just listening. It is all about keeping your eyes and ears open all of the time. I am so fortunate to know so many fantastic people that I get to pick their brain from time to time. I feel that really helps our program in general.”
And, more recently, Fisher has put some of that practical knowledge to good use.
Armed with a brand new set of upgrades in her American Race Cars dragster, Fisher has put on quite a show over the last month and a half, winning the most recent PDRA race at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis over the weekend just three weeks after securing a runner-up finish at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
The performance marks one of the best starts of her career and places her squarely in the championship hunt.
“We have had such a good season so far. Our program is pretty much the same as we have had the past two years with this particular Top Dragster, but we changed to an F3-121 ProCharger this year, so we are going much quicker – two, almost three-tenths quicker in the quarter-mile,” Fisher said. “Once we had everything figured out, we were able to go some rounds at some of the PDRA events. We did well at our first NHRA national event in Atlanta, going some rounds there, then at Norwalk the car was just hauling butt. I am not one to hold on my dial-in, but I liked my dial-in. Once we really started getting into the rounds on Sunday, we were just going quicker and quicker and that was new for me, trying to learn how to drive that because I couldn’t dial any quicker than six-flat.
“It was a fantastic experience and I really learned a lot. I think that helped me coming back and doing some eighth-mile racing this past weekend because I was really able to trust the car and actually put the dial on it that I wanted to run. The Norwalk race really helped, but it also really stung to breakout by five thou. It was something I never thought I would say, I ran 5.995, but unfortunately I broke out.”
In the Norwalk race, Fisher lost to Jeff Strickland thanks to the aforementioned breakout, before rebounding with a win over Matt Cooke at the PDRA Mid-America Indy Showdown on Sunday when Cooke went red.
Fisher had a few issues early on over the weekend, suffering a parts failure during Q1, but rebounded nicely, placing her machine fifth on the charts and firing off four consistent passes leading up to the final, which wrapped up at nearly 2 a.m. Sunday morning.
“Because we knew going to this particular event that Top Sportsman and Top Dragster, being geographically located in the Division 3 area, was going to be amazing, we were ready for a fight,” Fisher said. “Once we got past our issues in Q1, the car was absolutely deadly. I knew I had a consistent racecar and it gave me the confidence to do what I needed.
“My final round was at 1:43 in the morning. If we could have kept moving the program along I would have been fine, but there was quite a bit of time between the semis and the final. I was a little antsy because I was ready to run, it wasn’t like the fast pace that it had been at the Norwalk national event where we barely had any time to get back to get cooled down before the final. We even had some issues where my shield was fogging up like crazy, even my windshield, which wasn’t helping my lights. But it didn’t matter in the end.
“I really can’t thank Kevin (Fisher) and Dave Freeland enough for everything they have done all this season. As well as my sponsors, Armor Coat Ceramic Header Coating, Ohio Crankshaft, Borla Exhaust, K&N Engineering, Abruzzi Racing, Mickey Thompson, ProCharger and Sunoco Race Fuels. We really have had a fantastic last three events. A win, runner-up and a special award at Route 66, you can’t beat that. They give me the tools to go out there and do my job.”
With a solid start under her belt, Fisher has high hopes that she can contend for the eighth-mile PDRA championship in Top Dragster this season, while continuing to balance time on the quarter-mile with NHRA, a unique challenge she gladly accepts.
“To me, it’s different. Different drivers may have different ways to look at it. To me, when you are racing eighth-mile, you are racing immediately. When you are racing quarter-mile you have a little more time to judge what is going on,” Fisher said. “To me, it’s more intense on the eighth-mile. And that is why it is really all about the PDRA and doing everything we can to acquire the championship. We finished fourth last year and we want nothing more than to get that No. 1.”