RW dragster takes 8th at World Finals

Teen drag racer Danika Miles on the track.

PETERSBURG, VA – In October, Ridgeway dragster Danika Miles, 12, wrapped up her second year of racing with an 8th place finish in the Top Jr. Dragster division of the Professional Drag Racing Association (PDRA) World Finals – the finale of the April – December PDRA junior racing season.

Two months later she picked up her trophy at an awards banquet in Indianapolis, IN where she was honored along with the other Top 10 dragsters in her division.

Miles receiving her Top 10 award for the junior division at the World Finals in Indianapolis, IN.

The Richard Winn Academy sixth grader’s whirlwind racing year began on April 5 in Benson, N.C. at GALOT Motorsports, the first PDRA race. In May she and her team headed to Virginia Motorsports Park and Darlington Dragway.

During the spring she raced throughout the Southeast. After racing in St. Louis, Miles and her crew headed to Ohio where she qualified for the quarter finals.

Racing closer to home at the Darlington Dragway in October, Miles had her best race yet qualifying for the semi-finals and finishing in the top four.

The finale came at the PDRA World Finals at the Virginia Motorsports Park with her top 10 finish.

The daughter and granddaughter of dragsters (dad Gabe Miles and grandfather, the late Ricky Miles) Danika recalled her love-at-first-sight moment with drag racing in October 2017. She had accompanied her father to a track in Charlotte where he was racing. Then, she said, she saw kids her own age climbing into some of the waiting dragsters.

“It was just this moment of ‘wow’ for me. I didn’t even know that was a thing, that kids could do this, and as soon as I realized it I knew that was something I wanted to do,” she stated.

After a busy start in 2019, Miles and her father Gabe Miles traveled to New York City to sign contracts and make official two national sponsors – school cafeteria food supplier E S Foods and ice cream maker A La Mode.

E S Foods spokesperson Amy Josephson said the company chose the then 11-year-old as the face of E S Foods because she embodies everything the company was looking for in a school-aged role model.

“In many ways, Danika is your average school kid, yet also is a role model leading an extraordinary life,” Josephson stated. “We thought this was a fun, unique way to promote E S Foods while honoring a successful middle school student.”

Danika’s image is now be on all E S Foods posters and material, and she has filmed commercials released on social media platforms for the company.

The title sponsorship will not only make Danika a more prevalent name across the world as one of the youngest rising stars in the drag racing sport, but will help her team accomplish goals that were once out of reach for financial reasons.

In addition to Danika’s new dragster, the sponsorships have enabled the team to purchase a new trailer and provided financial assistance for travel, equipment and repair costs.

Despite the big changes occurring in her life – racing at top tracks around the country, appearing in commercials and signing autographs – Miles remains the quiet, unassuming girl her family has always known, Miles said. She plays basketball and competed in her school’s beauty pageant.

“She’s still being a girl, still being a kid. She might be a force to be reckoned with on the track, but in her personal life she’s the same sweet, shy little girl who gets nervous when she has to talk on the phone,” Miles stated.

Miles’ racing journey can be followed on social media on the Facebook page Miles Custom Racing.