JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Nicole Lyons, owner of Cole Muscle Cars
Nicole Lyons is fueled by the same horsepower that moves the cars she races. Although Lyons is only 5â€™6â€, her exotic beauty, spirited personality and kinetic intensity make her seem larger than life.
However, it can still prove difficulty to describe this multi-faceted athlete while she carves a niche for herself as one of the worldâ€™s rarest African American female professional drag racers. Realizing her dream and becoming the first African American female to race professionally in the NHRA Pro Stock series.
Joey Pinkney: You are a central figure connecting the past to the future. As an African-American female that is proficient in the National Hot Rod Association, where does your love for racing come from? And what are you doing to pass your legacy on to future African-American racers, both male and female?
Nicole Lyons: My love of racing comes from my father famed Los Angeles street racer and high performance engine builder/muscle car restorer Jack Davis. Being a only child, I was daddy’s little girl!
Not only am I bringing awareness to the sport of NHRA drag racing, I am also the first African American woman to race comp, top sportsman, and pro stock in the NHRA.
I am making history and passing my legacy on. Team NLR also supports the urban youth by bringing them directly into my world at the track.
JP: What is your ritual or method to get in your racing zone? What do you do to gain the laser focus needed to keep the straight line with such a powerful machine in such a short amount of time?
NL: I live, eat and breath racing on a day-to-day basis which always keeps me in the zone. I am always practicing and gaining seat time that is needed. The combination of will, strength both physically and mentally, fast reactions and determination to win keep me in tune to go down the track in the speeds that we go.
JP: Most “grease monkeys” and “gear heads” have a rough edge and an equally rough exterior. How do you maintain your beauty amidst racing on the track and also building cars for your own Cole Muscle Cars?
NL: I am extremely tough inside, just was blessed to have the looks on the outside. I work out on a strict regime five days a week. My husband played eight years pro-football, so I am always doing some intense drills as well.
Many don’t know I am a black belt. While I was competing, I was ranked #1 in Southern, CA. Staying fit and hydrated is a must to looking good.
JP Many casual drivers look at drag racing as a breeze in terms of physical stamina. What kind of training do you go through to complete a season of drag racing?
I go through five days a week cardio, weight training, kickboxing and football tactic drills to stay fit in order to handle the amount of horsepower I have. Many don’t know drag racing takes a huge hit on your heart, and if a accident occurs, on your total body.
JP What’s next for Nicole Lyons in terms of upcoming drag racing seasons, Cole Muscle Cars and community outreach to make racing more viable to inner-city youths?
NL: We currently are in our season for NHRA drag racing and have another seven events to race. We are also merging out into nascar and have some serious meetings lined up in September.
Cole Muscle Cars lead shop is based out of CA but we are opening a new CMC shop in Atlanta in late September of this year. We work with several inner city programs here in Los Angeles and will in Atlanta as well.
I have built award winning engines and I am the first AA to race NHRA comp, top sportsman, pro stock. I will be going to pro-mod this year and will also be dabbling in nascar.
Twitter: team nlr
google: nicole lyons racing/ nicole lyons nhra