My pick for Racers of the Week are Michael and Sonya Blagg. Sonya sent me their info, so I’m going to focus on her driving tonight. Michael is a great guy who works on the car so that she can compete and win. Sonya Blagg lives in Sayre, Oklahoma. She races a 1982 Chevy El Camino, named “Hell Camino.” She is currently the race director at the Sayre Street Races, which is a non-profit street race event, hosted by the Sayre Chamber of Commerce. All the staff, including Sonya, are volunteers. Her husband, Michael, serves as her mechanic and crew chief and is also the mechanic and crew chief for Justin Atkins’ Thunder Chicken Firebird. Justin will be featured next week, by the way. Sonya’s Elco has been built from the ground up by Michael and her. Michael is very important to her race program, as well as Justin’s. She said there is no way she could race without the support, knowledge, mechanical ability and expertise of Michael Blagg.
The Hell Camino is on small tires, powered by a 496 big block Chevy with old school Reher Morrison heads. It runs a powerglide transmission and nitrous. Sonya and Michael have progressed over the past four years and get faster and more consistent every season.
Sonya’s love for cars and all things mechanical began in her childhood. Her parents owned a salvage yard when she was a toddler and her fondest memories are of watching her parents and soaking up everything they knew. Her dad let her help, whether it was handing him tools or doing easy little tasks, and she grew to love everything about cars. Michael grew up working on cars and eventually became a mechanic. He has a great love for cars and anything mechanical. He is a wiring guru and has done the wiring on the Hell Camino and Justin’s Thunder Chicken, as well as several other cars in the area.
Sonya did some street racing in her younger life and then she got into dirt track racing in her late 20s and raced for a few years before some life changes forced her to give it up. She was a single mom and needed to focus on her child. Michael did a lot of demolition derby and mud truck racing in his younger years.
Sonya married Michael, who was her high school sweetheart, in 2007, and they settled into a nice family life. In 2014, she got involved as a volunteer for the Sayre Street Races and Michael has helped her in every aspect of her volunteer work. A couple of years into volunteering for that, Michael and Sonya decided to build a car and race as well. In June 2016, they bought her El Camino, which was stock, and by July 2016, she was racing. In one month, they installed a roll cage, built a motor, plumbed the fuel system and wired the car. They built it on a shoe-string budget and did and continue to do all the work on it themselves, with help here and there from friends. By the end of 2016, Sonya became race director at Sayre Street Races (and Sayre Chamber of Commerce president for 2016 and 2017) and she continues to volunteer in the race director capacity.
Sonya won the points championship at Sayre Street Races in the Motor Maniacs class in 2017. She has also been fortunate enough to get to race Farmtruck from Street Outlaws and was on an episode of the show in August 2018. She was on the SSR Top 10 list for two years. A few of her most memorable races have been racing Mike Qualley’s Mutt, (an early 1940s Ford F1), and Farmtruck, of course. She has competed, alongside her fellow 580 teammates, in annual Border Wars against the 908 (Texas) for the last two years.
She (along with her 580 racing team) traveled with a group from the 918 (eastern Oklahoma) to St. Louis in April of 2019 to race the Memphis Street Outlaws and JJ da Boss, to film for an episode of the show, which will be aired during the last part of Season 4, which is on TV right now. She also got the opportunity to run in the truck class at Outlaw Armageddon at Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Noble, Okla., last August, and she also ran in the OG Street Event at Kansas International Dragway last summer.
Sonya’s plans for 2020 will be to do more traveling to compete at various street and track events. The Blaggs like the street events the best, but they do compete in some track events. They plan to try to race the Memphis Street Outlaws again some day, travel to different states to race some other race teams and they also plan to attend Armageddon again this year. They plan to race at various street race events in Oklahoma this year as well. That is, when this virus stuff ever goes away so they can commence racing season again.
Sonya has one sponsor: Chris Rhoads with Texoma Tire and Auto in Sayre, OK, who provides her with Amsoil Racing Fluids. She said she is very grateful for him for that.
Also, be sure to check out the Hell Camino on Facebook and Instagram!
Great story, Sonya. Y’all have a great hot rod. We wish you and Michael good luck, safe racing and the best of times in the future!
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