2024 Toyota Dirt Driver Spotlight – Jade Avedisian

Toyota Dirt Driver Spotlight

Jade Avedisian

Keith Kunz Motorsports – Toyota 

Age: 17

Hometown: Clovis, Calif.

Jade Avedisian, the winningest female driver in national midget history with seven victories and the only female driver to win a midget national championship after capturing the Xtreme Outlaw Midget title in 2023, is taking on a new challenge this season. She is running full-time in the GR Cup sports car series, while also competing in about 40 national midget events. After a career-best fourth place finish in GR Cup at Circuit of The Americas, this week she will be shooting for her first USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series win during the six-race Indiana Midget Week.

Q. Jade, how has it been adjusting to running in the GR Cup?  Do you find yourself learning something new with each session?

JA: Yes. For sure. There’s a lot to take in. Each lap and each session in GR Cup I learn something new every time I hit the track. Not only getting laps on the track, but also when I get off the track. I have great people around me helping me get better by watching video with me and going over the data. The last few weeks I’ve learned a ton.

Q. After winning in Xtreme and POWRI and taking home the Xtreme title last year, what would it mean to get your first USAC National Midget win?

JA: To win in USAC would mean the world to me. I’ve been trying for a long time now. I ‘ve just had a few slip away. I feel very confident about this year. We just need to put ourselves in positions to have a shot at it later in the night. I think we have very good chance to win at least one and, hopefully, a few. I’m going to try learn from the races I let get away last year and execute a little better this year. Hopefully, we can get one during USAC Indiana Midget Week.

Q. How difficult is it to adjust from racing in two totally different forms of racing – especially when you’ve had weeks where you went directly from one to the other?

JA: I just take it week by week. When I have a GR Cup race, I need to focus on that from Monday through Sunday and when I have a dirt race, I just have to put all my focus there. I can’t really take the two and mix them, I feel like they are just so different. I need to have a different mindset for each car and each weekend and separate the two of them.

Q. This is your first season of road racing, how do you think competing in the GR Cup will help you down the road?

JA: Road course experience in general is something good. I need to learn at some point, and I feel it’s a great opportunity to get that experience now rather than later on down the road. I had little to no road course experience entering this season. To have a full year in the GR Cup is really exciting and I’m definitely looking forward to learning more about road courses.

Q. You signed a multi-year agreement with TRD and Toyota at the end of last season, how has the experience been so far?  

JA: It’s been great. Everyone at TRD and TPC have done so much for me. I signed the contract at the end of last year and now the work is finally here with the season starting up. To have Toyota behind me 24/7 and for years to come is something I’m very proud of and super grateful for. It’s harder to beat a driver when they have really great people around them.

Q. How many races do you expect to run this season – and is NASCAR still your primary goal?

JA: Racing on Sunday is definitely my primary goal right now. I’ll still do about 40 midget shows along with the full 14-race GR Cup schedule this year. It’s my first year with a little bit of mixture in the types of cars I’m driving and I’m super excited and, hopefully, we’ll have a great year.

Toyota Racing PR