Many people love drag racing. One Tonawanda couple fell in love due to their involvement in drag racing. One race down the strip at Lancaster Motorsports Park last year was all it took and in less than a year it was followed by a trip down the aisle for Mark and Jennifer Przybylski.
It's not just a feeling of romance that this couple brings to the sport but also serious competition as both are currently competing for the Street class points title at LMP.
"We met when we raced each other in the third round of the first race of last season in May," said Mark, 34. "I beat her in that race but had never actually met her before."
"After that race, I went up to him and congratulated him on the win. That's the first time we spoke," said Jennifer, 26.
For the couple, it was love at first race. After that they began to date and soon marriage entered the picture.
"I proposed to her last January 22," recounted Mark. "I drove her out to the track at Lancaster. There was three feet of snow on the ground but the entrance was plowed. I drove back to the small hill behind the burn-out fence and climbed up onto it and proposed to her.
"It was exactly 5 o'clock on a Friday. That's when normally the weekly drag racing takes place at Lancaster."
"I had a feeling he was going to propose," said Jennifer of that day. "He was real mysterious about where we were going. When we were heading in the direction of the track I thought it was the time."
For the record, she said yes and they were married, Aug. 7. They thought about drag racing the night before they tied the knot but all the wedding plans prevented it.
After the wedding, they departed for a honeymoon in Maine, returning to the drag racing wars a few weeks later.
Dave Weller currently leads the Street points by eight over Mark Przybylski. Jennifer is tied for third with Bill Parsons, just three back of her husband. Two weeks remain in LMP's points season.
"When we initially met, we didn't talk much about racing but now that we're involved in this tight points race, it's kind of heating up in a friendly, competitive way with a lot of talking about who's going to beat who," said Mark, who works as a technician at WGRZ-TV.
Mark began racing in Street at LMP four years ago and has two career wins, including one this year. Jennifer has raced since 1996, also in Street, and has four career wins including one at New York International Raceway Park. That win at NYIRP came earlier this season as did two wins at LMP.
The couple has faced each other in career competition eliminations four times and are 2-2 in head-to-head racing. On an interesting note, the couple met in the final one week before their wedding and Jennifer won.
"In fact, when we faced each other the week before our wedding, Lancaster announcer Mike Paz said in a kidding way to the crowd that if I knew what was good for me, I'd take a dive in the final and let her win. But I raced her hard and she beat me fair and square."
"That's one thing we will never do," said Jennifer about purposely losing so the other can benefit in the points. "When Mark and I race each other we both go all out to beat each other and that's the way it is."
The couple is out of town as members of Team Lancaster Motorsports Park, competing in the NHRA Division I Sears Craftsman ET Bracket Finals in Delmar, Del. There is no drag racing this Friday at LMP but the season will conclude with races Oct. 8 and 15.
The Przybylskis have not yet thought about how they will spend their first wedding anniversary. When it was suggested they return to that same hill at LMP for a champaign toast, they did not rule out the possibility.
With a little luck and good racing, one of them might even be sipping some of the champagne as LMP's Street class champion.
LANCASTER DRAGWAY SUPER PRO LEADERS
Ken Staschak ....90
Joe Przespasniak ....84
Mike Owczarczak ....81
Glenn Hughes ....77
Thurnherr I-Thurnherr II....75
Fred Ferguson ....72
Bob Runge ....68
Bill Bigham ....68