You’d be hard-pressed to find someone more deeply immersed in the sport of drag racing than Indiana’s Randi Lyn Shipp. “Rocket” Shipp, as she’s known, has been strapping herself to racecars since the age of 8, and since then her entire life has revolved around the straight-line sport. Her father Randy, brother Joey, and sister Kristi all race—as does her fiancée—the reigning NHRA Pro Stock champion, Bo Butner. Even her mom Jackie is a huge supporter.
In more than two decades of competition, Randi Lyn has wheeled cars in Jr. Dragster, local Brackets, along with NHRA Super Comp and Super Street. These days, the Hoosier is a regular on the NHRA Mello Yello national event tour, where she’s scored four event victories in Stock Eliminator. By day, Randi Lyn works at the family business, Jim Butner Auto Sales, but at the track she’s focused on running her Stocker, serving as a crew member on the Pro Stock team, and growing their apparel company, Nitro Fish Racing.
“My dad was always into cars and drag racing,” she told us. “He’s friends with Pro Mod racer Billy Glidden, and many years ago he went with Billy’s father, legendary racer Bob Glidden, to Gainesville Raceway for the Gatornationals. That was all it took for him to get heavily involved in drag racing,” she explained. “We’re from a small town outside of Indianapolis, and every car guy knows each other. I was like 7 at the time and there was a raffle for a Jr. Dragster. The guy who won didn’t have kids so my dad bought it from him. He didn’t expect me to do well with it, but I won my third race. After that my dad was thinking ‘she could really be good’ and it turned into a whole childhood of racing.
“When I turned 16 I got a Super Comp dragster and I won a national open at Indy, which is my home track, but my dad was more into full-bodied door cars, so he bought a 1969 Camaro for us to race. We brought it home in boxes and built it for NHRA Super Street, which is on a 10.90 index. At the time my dad and brother raced in Super Street so that made it a lot of fun.”
The ’69 Camaro brought Randi Lyn a win at Summit Motorsports Park in 2009, but what made that race extra special was her final-round opponent. “That weekend I ended up racing my brother for the trophy,” she said. “It was really exciting and kind of careless since we were both in the final. It was as far as you can go, so we were both cheering for each other. If he beat me I would have been just as excited for him.”
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