TJ Spotlight: Chevelle Loparco

Senior Chevelle Loparco posing next to her 1968 Chevelle.

Senior Chevelle Loparco posing next to her 1968 Chevelle.

Paxton DeVault, Reporter

Since she was eight years old, Chevelle Loparco, senior at Thomas Jefferson High School, has had a love for drag racing! Her passion began with her father purchasing a 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS when she was young. 

“I never imagined racing it, or even knowing how to race it,” says Loparco. “Ever since then, I have fallen in love with race cars. I started attending car shows, The World of Wheels, and even began racing at i-29 Speedway.”

At the age of 16, Chevelle started getting behind the wheel more often. Her and her father, Dave Loparco, would get together with other close friends and family and go on cruises around town. While she drives her ‘68 Chevelle, her father drives his 1969 Camaro. Her father also owns a business where he works on cars to make them perfect for their owner! 

“My dad’s business hosted an event at i-29, and my dad now sponsors for the race track,” says Chevelle. “At that event, I drove my car at that track for the first time. I ended up getting a lot of great comments on my work.”

“My car still needs a lot of work, so I wasn’t wanting to race it when I did. But I am very glad I did. I’ve always dreamed that one day I will be on that track racing in the driver’s seat! And that day, I raced my Chevelle on the track!”

Chevelle says she is extremely thankful for the support she continues to receive from family and friends. 

“Drag Racing is so important to me because my family has been doing it for ages and I want to follow in their footsteps! I’ve always had the biggest smile on my face even when we would all get together to go on cruises,” she says.

This upcoming racing season in 2021, Chevelle will be racing her ‘68 Chevelle along with the newest addition. Chevelle and her father built a Mini Cooper with a V8 motor that they will take turns racing. 

“I do plan on continuing to race. So far, I am the youngest female to race at i-29 Speedway! I may not be the fastest, but I will continue to work my hardest!”



This student feature is also a part of the 2020-2021 Yearbook, and you can purchase your copy now!