Ashley Sanford: Fast, Furious, and Female!
Ashley Sanford is a NHRA Top Fuel Nitro Pilot. Sounds fast and furious,right! This trailblazer, is a literal trail blazer…as in drag racer, as in an acceleration contest between 2 vehicles. She is part of the National Hot Rod Association which includes over 40,000 drivers on its rosters, and is the biggest motor-sport sanctioned in THE WORLD!!! She has taken her passion for speed to the next level, and is now racing in the Top Alcohol Dragster category with her family owned A fuel dragster. Ashley also enjoys boating, snowboarding, and riding buggies in the dessert.
1) What does the Never Too Pretty Movement mean to you?
I am in LOVE with the Never Too Pretty Movement! Through out my racing career I was treated differently because of the way I looked, and Never Too Pretty is all about taking those obstacles and throwing them right out the window! Chase your dreams without any hesitation, you’re “never too pretty” for anything!
2) Why did you want to become a brand ambassador?
I want to be an example to girls that it doesn’t matter if someone says that you are not capable of something, because anything is possible when you let your passion drive you! I want girls to know that if you believe in yourself and your abilities, you will be unstoppable!
3) How do you "live" the movement of female empowerment?
I wake up smelling Girl Power! I think it’s so important to reach out and support girls through social media. Sometimes the internet can be a dark and hateful place, instead I use it to empower and encourage girls to push through the darkness and follow their dreams!
4) What drives you to show others that women are just as capable as men?
Being a Top Fuel driver I drive at speeds up to 330mph in less than 4 seconds while handling a 11,000 horsepower machine, when I take my helmet off people tend to be shocked to see a 24 year old girl! The best part? My Top Fuel Dragster doesn’t know if I’m a boy or a girl, we just do our job together! I’m driven to make everyone see me the way my Dragster does, just another human being following her dreams!
5) Have you had any unique challenges as a woman in business, sports, etc.?
When I started racing professionally, I just wanted to race! I had no idea I was signing up to enter the business world, and I was in for a surprise. Men tend to lean towards men in business decisions, that being said I’ve had the door shut in my face countless times just because I’m a female. But you can NOT let that stop you! The world is changing, you just have to be patient and keep pushing for what you believe in!
6) Do you have any stories or experiences about having to overcome biases in your life?
When I decided I wanted to race professionally, a lot of people told me I wouldn’t be able to handle the power of the car, that I should slow down and take baby steps in achieving my goals. Did that stop me? NOPE! I used all that energy to show them it doesn’t matter what I look like, and I proved them wrong!
7) Please share your best piece of advice for inspiring the next generation:
What are you passionate about?
Whatever it is, let that passion fuel you to achieve all of your goals! When you face obstacles big or small, never forget why you started and continue to ignite the fire inside of you! Be fearless against all odds, as long as you believe in yourself you will be unstoppable!
Check your local listings to watch Ashley dominate the competition in the NHRA! And keep an eye on our Instagram and newsletter! More unstoppable, amazing women have recently joined Team Too Pretty! See you there!