Talking Cobra Jet Mustang With Michelle Bongiovanni

001-Michelle Bongiovanni Cobra Jet Mustang

 

“A lot of them don’t believe me,” says Michelle Bongiovanni when we asked her what her classmates at Penn State University say when they hear she drives an 8-second Super Stocker and once did a video for Ford showcasing the line lock feature in the 2015 Mustang.

It’s all true though. The 19-year-old marketing major is also a record-setting drag racer in a Cobra Jet Mustang, and she recommends everyone get a little track time under their belts. “I’ve made all my best friends drag racing,” she says, adding that racing is a way to learn patience, sportsmanship, and focus, besides being hugely fun and exciting.

Michelle started racing when she was just a little kid. “I was seven or eight. My dad’s friend was racing at Englishtown and I thought it was the coolest thing ever.”

009-Michelle Bongiovanni Cobra Jet Mustang

“She stood up for every round and wouldn’t sit down,” interrupts her dad, Anthony Bongiovanni.

“I don’t remember that,” Michelle says, laughing. “I do remember that we saw their dragster in the pits and I wanted one.”

 

008-Michelle Bongiovanni Cobra Jet Mustang

Soon after, Michelle started running Jr. Dragster, an 1/8-mile racing series designed for drivers younger than 18. Michelle was having so much fun that her dad decided to get in the racing game too, but since he was a little too old for Jr. Dragsters (Sorry, Anthony) he started running a couple of Cobra Jet Mustangs in Stock and Super Stock races. When Michelle was around 17, she decided to give the Cobra Jet a try, and not only was she hooked on the different racing experience, she was good too, setting a record in the stock eliminator class. “Before the Mustang, I wanted to move up to a bigger dragster, but it’s more versatile to run a door car. You have more ability to change the car around, to run different classes and move up. Someday I’d like to try a Pro Stock car.”

003-Michelle Bongiovanni Cobra Jet Mustang

While in school, Michelle’s racing schedule has to take a back seat to classwork, but she says it doesn’t keep her off the track. “We try to squeeze the races in between the classes,” she says, adding that she’s looking forward to spring break so she can back behind the wheel of her 1000hp, supercharged Mustang. So far she’s run a best of 8.87 at 153 mph, but she has plans to go faster. Best believe her.

005-Michelle Bongiovanni Cobra Jet Mustang

Anthony and Michelle are part of the OPTIMA PowerPro Ambassadors program, working with younger enthusiasts to encourage participation in the automotive industry.

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