USF student feels the need for speed - WFLA News Channel 8

USF student feels the need for speed

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Kat Moller Kat Moller
Kat Moller on the USF campus Kat Moller on the USF campus
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - Janet Guthrie, Danica Patrick and... Kat Moller?

The first two women broke new ground in the sport of racing. Guthrie as the first woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500, Patrick as the first woman to win an open wheel racing event, not to mention her high-profile presence on the cover of a variety of magazines.
What Moller has is this: She's driven a car faster than Guthrie or Patrick ever has and she's only 19 years old.  The Sarasota native is the youngest jet car driver in the United States and regularly tops 300 miles per hour.

"It takes some getting used to," Moller said. "I'm lucky I had a whole bunch of transition steps between the junior dragsters and my bracket Mustang and my dad's dragster in between to kind of work my way up there.  But, it's exciting".

Moller has been around cars and the sport her entire life. Her father, Tommy, owns Corvettes West, a Sarasota body shop.  She watched him race growing up and as a child, learned the inner workings of automobiles.  

Then, when she was 11, Tommy Moller put her behind the wheel of a junior dragster and Kat literally took off.

"Nothing that made me feel better or more excited than when I saw her go down the track," Moller said. "I mean, the delight of your child doing something  you have a passion for, finding out she has a passion for it. Maybe even greater than my own.  And she certainly does, because I know she wants to take it to the end".

"I'm thrilled for my daughter, totally thrilled," Debbie Moller, Kat's mother, said. "This is something she's talked about ever since she was like 10 or 11 and here she has the opportunity to do what she truly wants."

Kat's racing ability is only part of her story.  A competitive figure skater from the age of two, Moller also excels in the classroom. She graduated from Sarasota Riverview High School in the IB program and had earned enough credits to enroll as a sophomore at The University of South Florida, where she's majoring in mechanical engineering. Her classes include Dynamics of Movement, Physics 2, Statistics and Calculus.

She plans on using her degree to assist her racing career, which has shot to the next level. Moller has signed a deal with Larsen Motorsports to be part of an all-female racing team.

"It's fun being part of an all-girl team," Moller said.  "We get along, we get to travel, it's exciting".

The next bit of excitement comes in March, when Moller has her first race as a member of Team Larsen.

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