Long-time Sonoma Raceway Drag Racing Manager Georgia Seipel will turn over the reins to her son and fellow drag-racer Kyle Seipel in 2018, as he takes over management of the raceway’s quarter-mile drag strip and drag racing operations.
The Seipels, including Georgia, husband Ted and Kyle, are considered the First Family of drag racing in Northern California, and are known nationally for their contributions to the sport.
“Georgia’s legacy at this facility and within the community of racers is truly remarkable. I think half of our racers refer to her as ‘Mom,’ so it’s very fitting that her son should step into the role she has filled so capably for decades,” said Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway president and general manager. “We’ve watched Kyle grow up on and around our race track, and we are excited to have him officially join the Sonoma Raceway family.”
Georgia has been involved in the sport for more than 60 years, including 10 years as a drag racer (1976-1987) behind the wheel of a hot pink 1956 Austin-Healey, and 10 years managing Baylands Raceway in Fremont. Since joining then-Sears Point Raceway in 1988, she has been instrumental in the growth of Sonoma Raceway’s drag racing programs, including Wednesday Night Drags and Top the Cops, as well as Summit ET Bracket Drag Racing.
“When Baylands closed in 1988, I was offered the job in Sonoma and it was the best decision I ever made,” said Georgia, who also worked full-time in the raceway’s Ticketing Department. “I have made some of the best friendships with staff and racers alike for the past three decades. I am excited that Kyle will take over my position here and wish him the best. My time will now mostly be spent with my grandchildren being a grandma to Sydney and Hudson.”
Kyle is one of the most accomplished racers in the history of NHRA’s Pacific Division with 22 Division 7 titles. He began racing at age 12 and competed alongside his father as a four-car team during the late-‘80s and early-1990s. Seipel boasts 10 NHRA Lucas Oil Series Division 7 championships and 12 Division 7 E.T. Finals titles, and has claimed national event victories in five different Sportsman categories.
Since 2010, Kyle has also worked as a drag-race event promoter, serving as co-host to some of the richest races in bracket racing with partner and best friend Peter Biondo: the Spring Fling Million at The Strip in Las Vegas, Spring Fling at GALOT Motorsports Park, along with the Fall Fling at Bristol Dragway.
In his new role with Sonoma Raceway, Kyle will oversee day-to-day operations of the drag strip, including the weekly Wednesday Night Drags program and twelve-race Summit ET Bracket Drag Racing series. Kyle will also serve as liaison with NHRA for the facility’s NHRA Division 7 Drag Races, presented by Korbel (July 20-22), and Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals (July 27-29).
“I am very excited to take over for my mom as Drag Strip Manager,” said Kyle, who resides in Pleasanton with his wife and two children. “She has worked at Sonoma Raceway for almost 30 years and has always treated everyone like family. My hopes are to take the foundation she has established and build from that. I, along with Steve Page and his staff, have some ideas that will hopefully make the drag strip prosper for many years to come, along with continuing to build the Fling Brand with Peter Biondo coast to coast.”