Kelly Fedorowich is owner of Dark Side Racing.
Calgary’s Business: What is Dark Side Racing?
Fedorowich: Dark Side Racing is a family-owned and operated Top Fuel racing team that specializes in heart-pounding, adrenalin-fuelled motorsport marketing experiences.
My business partners are my husband David and our son Nikolas, and together with our Motley Pit Crew we share our unique brand of grassroots motorsport entertainment with racing fans and motorsport enthusiasts across the country.
Top Fuel dragsters are the fastest accelerating vehicles on the planet and reach speeds in excess of 330 mph in less than four seconds. When I hit the throttle, I experience an immediate five Gs of force; and when I pop the parachutes, I experience negative five Gs.
I’m the only Canadian woman to ever pilot a 10,000 horsepower Top Fuel dragster and I’m on a mission to become the fastest woman in Canada.
CB: Who is your target customer?
Fedorowich: Dark Side Racing is a motorsport marketing team that works with clients to develop and incorporate highly-effective VIP/bucket list motorsport experiences. Our programs connect sponsors and their brands with customers, clients and employees.
The face of drag racing is changing and diversity is a source of pride for those involved in the sport. While our fan base remains to be male-dominated, drag racing boasts more successful minority and women racers than any other motorsport.
Drag racing is family-oriented and provides one of the best sports marketing platforms to reach key male demographics between the ages of 18 to 49. On average, drag racing has one of the youngest sports fan bases among all major sports properties.
Our fan base is more ethnically diverse than both NASCAR and IndyCar. Because of these unique demographics, Dark Side Racing is able to provide our sponsors the diversity to reach various consumer segments.
CB: How did you get into this industry and where did your interest in racing come from?
Fedorowich: I was first introduced to the world of professional drag racing in 1986. The day I met my husband – Oct. 7, my 20th birthday.
David was 31, and a well-known competitor in Western Canada’s drag racing scene and I was a defiant 20-year-old looking for an adventure. Our worlds collided and in the blink of an eye I was hooked.
Many people refer to drag racing as an addiction, and I would have to agree.
CB: How has business been in the past few years?
Fedorowich: Dark Side Racing has been very fortunate. Our grassroots campaigns deliver return on investment and empower us with the ability to attract and retain strong corporate partners.
We love interacting with our community and by remaining approachable and friendly, our fan base has thrived. We understand that people are the lifeblood of every business and building relationships with people fosters brand loyalty for our sponsors.
Team Dark Side looks forward to growing and strengthening our sport celebrity status in 2019 and mobilizing the loyalty trust and enthusiasm of our fans.
CB: What’s your best piece of advice for women entrepreneurs?
Fedorowich: My advice is the same for a woman or a man: Believe in yourself. There will be plenty of naysayers. Be kind to yourself. You’ll often be your biggest critic. Remember that failure is part of the journey. Get up, dust yourself off, and be willing to dare greatly.
– Mario Toneguzzi