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:

Brian Tocci

Master of Business Administration | 2017

Brian Tocci

I've been with Larsen Motorsports for over 5 years. It’s a great place to combine designing the engine with actually building and fabricating the engine.

2017 Appearances

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

Date Event Venue
March 9 Blaze Comic Debut and Channel Your Inner Superhero Party Larsen Motorsports
March 16-19 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals* Gainesville
April 1-2 Melbourne Airshow Melbourne
April 6-7 Race at Sebring International Raceway Sebring
April 21-23 NHRA Spring Nationals Houston
May 5-7 NHRA Southern Nationals Atlanta
June 8-11 NHRA Summer Nationals Englishtown
June 24 Atlanta Night of Fire Atlanta
August 11-12 Michigan Night of Fire Martin
August 30 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals* Indianapolis
September 4 NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship  
September 15-17 NHRA Carolina Nationals* Charlotte
September 29 AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals* St. Louis
October 12-15 AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals* Dallas
November 18 Orlando Night of Fire Orlando
December 2 Bradenton Night of Fire Bradenton

*There is an NHRA Y.E.S. Program, presented by the U.S. Army, that corresponds with this event. 

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.