Swanson set to defend her Top Dragster title in Topeka

Joe (left) and Afton Swanson are set for another drag racing season. Joe is a Humboldt native while Afton grew up in rural Goldfield and began her racing career at the Humboldt County Dragway.

Afton Swanson, a Goldfield native, is ready to defend her Top Dragster title at the NHRA Heartland Nationals in Topeka, Kansas this weekend. Her dragster has a new look this season, thanks to a marketing partnership with Iowa based clothing and lifestyle company INKsane Custom Graphix.

The talented artists at INKsane brought Afton's idea to life, and "The Hemi Hunter" was born. The name is appropriate, considering the performance crew chief Joe Swanson has been able to achieve with the supercharged 540 cubic inch Big Block Chevy engine. The car has been in the 5 second zone and well over 230 mph on multiple occasions. "Everyone tells us that a Chevy can't run that fast. To go 6.0s and 230 mph you have to have a Hemi. We've proven that is not the case."

What is more impressive than performance numbers, is the story behind them. It is rare that a national event winning Top Dragster team consists of only two team members; it is even more uncommon when the two members are a husband and wife team in their 20s. Afton and Joe have been competing in the NHRA Top Dragster category since 2014 as an independent team, funded solely by Afton's income from her day job at Cedar Falls-based DENSO, and by Swanson Hydro Graphics and Swanson Performance; two Iowa companies the couple founded and Joe operates. "Our partnership with INKsane has been a big help in getting the Top Dragster ready for the season, and their support will make it possible for us to contend for the Top Dragster National Championship. We are grateful for all the support our team receives."

They are in the process of building a Super Comp dragster for Joe, which they hope to have on track mid-season.

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