Jagdeep 'J.D.' Singh - Competitive Car Racer
When did you first realize that you wanted to pursue your interests in racing?
My interest in motor sports began at a very young age. While kids my age were playing with GI JOE, I was playing with Hot-Wheels and Matchbox cars. Later in high school, my parents bought me my first car that was a typical 4-door, automatic sedan. My parents had gotten it for me to go to school and work, but it just wasnít for me. When I was 19, I worked 2 jobs in order to save up enough money to buy my first sports car. I wasnít even able to drive manual at this point so I had a close friend drive it home for me. My first live encounter with racing was shortly after I purchased my car and I was instantly hooked by what I saw.
How did you get involved in this hobby and what influenced you to follow the path you chose?
After watching my friends compete in a few races, I wanted to give it a try. The next time my friends went to the track, I went along with them and this time I would be participating. A couple of years later, I connected with Jeff Fazio from Jekyl-Hyde racing, whom I had met through an automotive enthusiast forum.. Soon there after, I became a regular part of the pit crew for Jekyl-Hyde Racing. This only increased my interest and knowledge, which also fueled my desire to race.
What projects/races are you currently involved in/working on? What have you accomplished so far?
Right now Iím working on preparing my car for the upcoming race season and am also looking into other forms of racing. Last year I got into the Drag Racing semi-finals and would like to try to get into the finals this time around. Even though I work a regular job in Finance, I have also started up a side business with one of my friends called PRIME Performance. We mostly modify/maintain performance based cars to make them perform at a higher level. Weíre only at the shop after work and on weekends but, maybe it will become a big business some day.
Did you experience any difficulties as a Sardar?
I did have some issues figuring out how to wear a helmet, which is required by the NHRA and for good reason. I wear a bandana and then put the helmet on over it. While Iím not actually racing, I take the helmet off and tie a small Keshki. As far as acceptance by the import racing community, it is very diverse and they mostly welcomed my interest. I have noticed that when you are racing, people donít care much of what you look like, where you come from, or what you believe in. They only really care about how well your car is set up and how well you can drive. I have made some great life-long friends through this hobby.
What advice would you recommend for our upcoming generations of Sikhs?
Donít be afraid to explore your curiosities, but keep your priorities and responsibilities in order. Be prepared to answer any questions that people may have in an open and friendly manner, whether it be about yourself or your hobby. People will respect you for your courage, skills, and knowledge.