Jade Avedisian Reflects on New Life as Champion, Progress Made Outside Dirt Midget Racing

Jade Avedisian Tyler Carr Photo

By Jordan Delucia
CONCORD, NC (June 20, 2024) – Jade Avedisian is quickly finding out that being champion of the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota has its perks.

From corporate sponsor signings to special event appearances and even starring in television commercials, life in general for the 17-year-old racer from Clovis, CA, has never been the same since winning her first national Midget series championship eight months ago.

“It’s definitely changed a huge amount, even from the last three years,” Avedisian said. “The last few years, a lot has happened. I’ve had a lot of great people around me, even when I was at CBI and obviously the people around me right now. I don’t think I could get a better group of guys around me right now, or just better people around me in general right now.”

Avedisian returns to Series competition in five weeks’ time – July 26-27 at Arrowhead Speedway and Tulsa Speedway in Oklahoma. She clinched the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series points championship in the Sooner State and has since seen her stock in the motorsports industry rise, creating a level of attention around her unlike any she’d seen before.

Soon, her name began appearing on headlines written by high-profile media personalities. From Jeff Gluck to Bob Pockrass, even dirt racers-turned-NASCAR Cup Series drivers like Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson spoke of her accomplishments.

“She was just super, super fast, and really maximized the equipment,” Bell said in a December 2023 interview. “A key ingredient for a racecar driver is being able to perform and get lap time out of the car, and that’s one thing she was able to do consistently.”

RELATED – KKM Leaders Never Doubted Jade Avedisian’s Championship Potential

One month after hoisting the championship trophy, Avedisian signed a multi-year agreement with Toyota Racing Development (TRD), making her a part of their full-time driver development program and opening her up to several new opportunities. In the spring, she co-starred with NASCAR Truck Series driver Corey Heim in her first TV commercial for Toyota Racing.

“Being in the Toyota commercials, and with all the push I have right now is something super special. I feel like not many kids get to say that,” Avedisian said. “But at the end of the day, you still have to stay humble and keep working hard. Your racing gets you those opportunities to have your name out there and all that.”

In May, she made a special appearance at Milton Hershey Stadium in Pennsylvania as part of the annual Hershey Sprint Car Experience event with her championship-winning car on display alongside several World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series drivers. Looking back, she said she had never met so many kids younger than her wanting to know about motorsports and enjoyed catching up with several fans that came out to meet her.

“Fans make the racing just so cool,” Avedisian said. “I feel like when you have a line out there, or even when you have people come up to you at the track, it’s super cool. I always go back to the days when I was the little kid asking for people’s autographs. To kind of be on the flip side of it now and be the person getting asked for autographs is something super special. I know it makes their day.”

Since signing with TRD, she’s taken on a new venture in motorsports this year, competing full-time in the Toyota GR Cup Series driving a Mobil 1-sponsored Toyota GR-86 car on some of the country’s most historic road courses.

It’s been a complete 180-degree spin for her, transitioning from years of nothing but dirt oval racing to now taking on asphalt road courses in a sports car. But Avedisian has navigated the learning curve well, notching a best finish of fourth last month at Circuit of the Americas, and said she’s enjoyed the new challenges.

“The pace of the race is different, the race craft is different, it even goes down to how you qualify is different,” Avedisian said. “When you get in the dirt car, you have two-three laps of hard-as-you-can-go and that’s it.

“With the GR Cup side of things, we do timed sessions, so you have 15 laps. Obviously, your tires can only get so hot before they shelf-off, so you have a certain amount of time to make sure you’re in the realm of where the tire can perform the best. When you’re in that time, you hope you don’t mess up in one of the 20 corners.”

Back on the dirt side, Avedisian has continued to race with Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) as her schedule allows, but she’s encountered some difficulty this year. In 12 starts, she’s finished top-five three times and made the podium once. Though she’s now recovered from another hinderance – a concussion she suffered in a hard crash at Farmer City Raceway in April – she and KKM are still searching to find her the speed and consistency she demonstrated in 2023 to get her back to Victory Lane.

“I think if you just go back to the very start of the season in Du Quoin – I lost my crew chief to IndyCar racing and what he had to do for himself,” Avedisian said. “I think that played a huge role in it; obviously, I spent the whole last year with him. Some people you get with, you just click right off the bat, and I feel like that’s how Jarrett [Martin] and I were – we clicked right off the bat.”

Though it’s been rough waters in the Midget as of late, Avedisian is determined to right the ship and continue making progress in the motorsports world as one of the top up-and-comers dirt track racing has to offer.

“I’m glad I could put my name on the history board, but at the same time, it was just cool to celebrate it with the team and show off their hard work all season,” Avedisian said. “It’s a lot we went through last season, honestly. For us to kind of stick through it, and no one ever gave up on the KKM side, it’s truly unbelievable.”