"Ever since I was little, I had a need for speed," said 15-year-old Ashley Weber told the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
The New Jersey teen, along with her friends, is a drag racer in Raceway Park's Junior Drag Racing League. The young athletes drive half-size versions of professional drag racing cars and can zoom around at up to 85 miles per hour in just 7.9 seconds on an eighth-mile track.
Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, provides a space for racers ages eight to 17 to practice and compete. Half of their racers are girls, a rarity in drag racing.
"When I was seven or eight, my dad brought me to a drag race for big cars and I thought it was the coolest thing. I just looked at him and was like, 'I want to do that!'" said 14-year-old Michelle Bongiovanni. "I like the attention I get from it, like, 'Isn't that a guy sport?' I think it's cool that I'm a girl and I drag race."
Drag racers aren't the only athletes who struggle to overcome stereotypes about femininity. Eighteen-year-old Olympic weightlifter Zoe Smith was blasted with negative comments on Twitter and told she looked like a "bloke." Smith responded, "Maybe they're right -- in the Victorian era. To think people still think like this in 2012 in laughable!"
Have you ever pushed gender boundaries and tried something new? Are you inspired by these fearless female athletes? Sound off in the comments below or tweet @HuffPostTeen!
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