Sierra Canyon’s Jacelyn Gonzaga, 15, only has a driver’s license for drag racing

Jacelyn Gonzaga, 15, in racing suit and holding her helmet, stands beside her car at drag racing strip
Jacelyn Gonzaga of Sierra Canyon is 15 and a drag racer. She finished fifth in the 800 meters at the Mission League finals.
(Bob Johnson)

Jacelyn Gonzaga, a 15-year-old sophomore at Sierra Canyon, can’t wait until she turns 16 and gets her California driver’s license.

She has a little secret, though. She’s been driving more than 100 mph for months. That’s because since she was 8, she has been engaged in drag racing. She’s licensed and has been competing in races as part of the National Hot Rod Assn.

Last week, she finished fifth in the 800 meters at the Mission League track and field championships, then left town for Tucson to compete in her latest race. Her father, Mike, has been a long-time assistant football coach at Sierra Canyon. He got her started in racing cars. And she loves the speed.


“When I turned 9, he got me my first car,” Gonzaga said. “I loved it.”

At a school where celebrity kids have been known to hang out, Gonzaga can say no one else goes as fast as her in a car.

“I do like speed,” she said. “It’s really cool because there’s not anyone else at school that does it.”

When she finally gets her license, will she be a good driver?

“Yes,” she said.

VIDEO | 05:22
LA Times Today: Sierra Canyon’s Jacelyn Gonzaga had been driving half her life before she got her license at 16

Watch L.A. Times Today at 7 p.m. on Spectrum News 1 on Channel 1 or live stream on the Spectrum News App. Palos Verdes Peninsula and Orange County viewers can watch on Cox Systems on channel 99.