Start Your Engine

Welcome to the official starting line for more information about the Florida Tech Jet Dragster Racing Team and all the unique, hands-on opportunities that our new relationship with Larsen Motorsports will make available to current and future Florida Tech students.

Where Adrenaline Meets Innovation

Official Site of the Florida Tech Jet Dragster Racing Team

A Perfect Match - As Seen on Jay Leno's Garage!

Larsen Motorsports

Larsen Motorsports is an award-winning innovator in the jet racing space. But it is also a proven leader in community outreach, STEM advocacy, and providing unique and valuable hands-on experiences to college students. Sounds a bit like Florida Tech, right? While our missions may be different, the Florida Tech/Larsen Motorsports partnership works because of what we have in common: A "High Tech with a Human Touch" attitude combined with a strong commitment to student success!

Hands-on Opportunities

The most important benefit of Florida Tech's relationship with Larsen Motorsports is the hands-on experience it makes available to you-our current and future students! Located just a short drive away from campus, Larsen Motorsports' high-tech headquarters gives you access to:

  • A working shop/laboratory that includes $8 million in equipment, tools, turbines, jet cars, etc.
  • High-tech fabrication, jet turbine testing, and technician capabilities and expertise…
  • Mentors who are automotive industry experts, accomplished engineers and entrepreneurs…
  • A network of professional race teams, suppliers, and other employers…
  • Hands-on internships and research opportunities in all areas of engineering and business, as well as aeronautics, communication, science, human factors, and more

Meet Our Driver: Elaine Larsen

Elaine Larsen IHRA World Champion Jet Dragster Driver

“I am really excited to drive the Florida Tech jet dragster, not only because I expect to bring my championship abilities to this great team, but also because this will allow me the opportunity to showcase to the world all of the hard work and dedication of students and faculty at Florida Tech,” says Larsen. In 2015 Elaine completed a four-win 2015 season earning her second consecutive International Hot Rod Association world championship.

Elaine Larsen has taken anything but the traditional path to the dragster’s driver’s seat. Growing up a Mennonite, drag racing was not the most typical choice of careers. She headed into un-charted territory and never looked back. Today Elaine brings over 20 years of racing experience and multiple IHRA championships to the Florida Tech racing team. She has never let being a female in a male dominated world affect her in any way. "Drag Racing is the equalizer, on any given day, I have the same chance as anyone to win, it just has to be my day!" says Elaine.

To learn more about Elaine and jet racing, visit Larsen Motorsports or follow her:

Corey Weigand

M.S. Aerospace Engineering | 2016

Corey Weigand

I started working at Larsen Motorsports about 2 weeks into my freshman year at my undergrad and they haven’t been able to get rid of me since. Through Larsen Motorsports, I discovered exactly where it was that I wanted to go with my engineering degree—the propulsion field. I’m now a self-identifying engine geek and currently run the Jet Technology Center at the racetracks where I help bring an interactive educational experience to our fans.

2017 Appearances

Come meet the Larsens and see the Florida Tech Jet Dragster Team in action at a location near you. 

Date Event/Venue Location
February 10-13 Hub City Dragway 
Hattisburg, MS
Febrary 24
Maker Faire @ Larsen Motorsports
Palm Bay, FL
March 2 Elaine Larsen @ UCF
Orlando, FL
March 9
Elaine Larsen w/ Teachers
West Palm Beach, FL
March 23-25
Melbourne Air & Space Show @ Orlando-Melbourne International Airport
Melbourne, FL
April 7
Discovery Day @ Florida Tech
Melbourne, FL
April 21
Palm Beach International Raceway
Jupiter, FL
May 18-19
US 13 Dragway
Delmar, DE
June 15-16
Beach Bend Raceway Park
Bowling Green, KY
June 30
Atlanta Dragway
Commerce, GA
July 28
Quaker City Raceway
Salem, OH
August 10-11
US 131 Motorsports Park
Martin, MI
August 24-25
Cordova International Raceway
Cordova, IL
September 15
Palm Beach International Raceway
Jupiter, FL
November 3
Orlando Dragway
Orlando, FL
November 24
Palm Beach International Raceway

Jupiter, FL


November 15
Bradenton Motorsports Park
Bradenton, FL

Nicholas Pietrzak

B.S. Mechanical Engineering | 2020

Nicholas Pietrzak

I’m the newest intern at LMS and I am so excited to start working here and continue my education at FIT. I am currently working on a test cell for a jet engine.


Larsen Motorsports Highlights Power of STEM, Speed of Jet Dragster at Summer Nationals
Larsen Motorsports, FIT Dragster on ‘Jay Leno’s Garage’ Episode
Larsen Bests Rookie at All Chevy Nationals
Florida Tech Jet Dragster Driver Elaine Larsen Fastest at NMRA Ford Nationals
Florida Tech’s Larsen First at Four-Wide Nationals
Elaine Larsen Guides Florida Tech Jet Dragster to Record Speed at Orlando Dragway
Larsen Motorsports Holds Opening Reception at Vehicle R&D Facility Jan. 28
Two-time World Champion Elaine Larsen to Drive Florida Tech Jet Dragster
Florida Tech Driver Breaks 6-Second Barrier at Northern Nationals Jet Dragster Races
Florida Tech’s Holbrook Picks Up First Consolation Win

Chelsea Reichard

B.S. Mechanical Engineering | 2018

Chelsea Reichard

I have been working at the shop for about a year now. I started in the fabrication lab and now I am a car chief for 2 of the jet dragsters at Larsen Motorsports. I am studying Mechanical Engineering at Florida Tech and I am scheduled to graduate in 2018. I love working at the shop, because not only does it give me the hands-on experience I will need later in my career, but it also gives me a home away from home.

Delve Deeper

There is a lot more to Florida Tech, so keep exploring. Our Decision Dashboard features a skateboard tour and gallery of all the cool stuff our students work on, as well as an overview of our space connections throughout history. Check out the Florida Tech Blog, and specifically our award-winning #FITBound page, to read stories and get insights straight from our current students and faculty.

Already convinced that Florida Tech could be the right university for you? Head on over to admissions. From there, you can learn everything you need to know about freshman, transfer and graduate admissions, as well as access important information about scholarships and financial aid.

Want to learn more about the science behind jet dragster racing? Our Science of a Jet Dragster video outlines all the connections between jet racing and what our STEM students are learning every day.

Michelle Rodriguez

B.S. Mechanical Engineering | May 2016

Michelle Rodriguez

I started working with Larsen Motorsports about a year ago and helped them move into the shop in Palm Bay. I then began interning with them and working with the engines. Once I heard the roaring sound of the engine, I was hooked and I knew I wanted to work with LMS for a long time. Throughout my experience at LMS we have traveled to schools, displays and races. This has helped me grow professionally and as a person.