Leigh Hubbard is a champion driver in her own right. As part of Tennessee’s most famous drag racing family, it’s not too surprising that Hubbard won last season’s International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Summit SuperSeries points championship for the Top division at Memphis International Raceway. Her maiden name is Millican with both parents racers and her older brother, Clay, a six-time IHRA Top Fuel World Champion, and the owner of a record 52 national-event wins. She explains that her husband is also an accomplished racer and a 2013 track champion at Memphis. “I’ve been around racing my whole life,” said Hubbard, driver of a M&M dragster. “My momma raced, my daddy raced and everyone knows my brother. We were always at the race track. My brother ran into this man, Cliff Hubbard, who was the man to beat here at home. He was a big bracket racer and my brother looked up to him. We ended up getting together and Cliff is now my husband.” While Leigh was always a racer as part of the crew, she hadn’t competed as a driver. That changed a few years ago and it was soon discovered that she was a natural talent behind the wheel. “I would always help my brother when I would go to the track and did whatever I could,” Hubbard said. “Then with my husband, I would fuel the car, load the data, set the tires. I made a pass or two in the dragster, but never thought much about me being a driver. “About six years ago, I was going to race an old Plymouth Duster that my husband had. I got in it and went to the finals the first night I raced. When I did that, my husband was like, ‘Give me my car back and you get in the dragster.’ I got in the dragster and I’ve never gotten out of it.” What has followed is a number of wins, final-round appearances and trophies. She races primarily at Memphis International Raceway, Millington, Tenn., although she does run some at IHRA-sanctioned Holly Springs Motorsports in Mississippi. The Drummonds, Tenn., racer has been competitive in anything she’s driven, whether it’s the Duster or her M&M dragster with a 598 cubic-inch, SR 20, Chevy Big Block motor. The last two years, she’s even won in a golf cart in the Darts Carts top eight in points shootout at MIR. No race has been as special to her, however, as representing the host track at the 2018 IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals. She quickly found it why it is considered the most prestigious championship in all of bracket racing. “It was awesome to race at the World Finals,” she said. “It was really tough. I had great packages every round and they still beat me. But to bring all the champions together, it was great to see how many tracks participate and such a cool experience. I enjoyed that.” For the past 25 years, she has worked at Federal Reserve Bank in Memphis. While that’s what she does for a living, she truly lives for those times at the race track, whether it’s being in the pits with family and friends or rocketing down the track in her dragster. It’s been that way for her as long as she can remember. “That’s all we breath. When I’m at work, I’m thinking how I can make myself better,” she said. “I don’t anything, but racing. Growing up when we weren’t at the drag strip, we went to NASCAR races, dirt races. My parents were just into any kind of racing and I don’t know any different. That’s our family and it’s just what we do.” RACER PROFILE HUBBARD CARRIES ON FAMILY’S CHAMPIONSHIP TRADITION 20