Over the Edge: Laboratory technician launches a dragster.

NORWALK, Ohio -- The hardest part, it is said, of rappelling down a steep rock face or wall by hanging on a set of ropes, is leaving a position of safety and going over the edge.

While the intimidation factor on a dragstrip runs horizontal, not vertical, laboratory technician Abbie Cottrill stepped away from the perceived safety of the sidelines and climbed over the edge into a dragster.Abbie Cottril having fun at the dragstrip!

“Last year was my first year ever,” said Abbie Cottrill, Massilon, Ohio. “I’m hooked. I love it.”

For nine years Abbie dated Tim Schmidt, who races in Mallory Super Pro along with his son, Steven Schmidt, in the Mr. Gasket $53,100 Super Series at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. Abbie watched or crewed for Tim.

Together they attended the Mr. Gasket Banquet of Champions January 26, 2013 at Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio.

“I’ve been wanting to race for a long time,” Abbie Cottrill said. “Of course Tim helped me out. I was scared to get into a dragster. As soon as I got in and went down the track, I wasn’t scared any more. It was amazing.”

After a first year of time trials and pushing the limits, Abbie Cottrill might venture into new territory in her Race Tech dragster.

“Tim and his son, Steven, have been showing me a lot of things,” Abbie Cottrill said. “They’re really good teachers. I didn’t go into points this year because I’m just starting. But I’m thinking about going into it next year. There’s a lot of competition in this class. You get a lot of benefits, though.”

The process from devoted fan to racer started at a Wednesday Fun Night.

Because of Tim Schmidt, we gained a new Mallory Super Pro Driver!“I took my Ford Edge down the track two years ago, the summer before I got the dragster,” Abbie Cottrill said, smiling. “That’s crazy, I know, to go from a Ford Edge to a dragster.

“I’m hooked. I love it.”

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