It’s not often that you meet someone who has established themselves as a real live high wire walker — there are only so many brave souls in the world with that capability — but Indiana’s Kim Deutsch can make that claim. You see, her family owned a small Midwest circus when she was younger, and throughout life, she’s found herself seeking a rush, which has culminated in building a Mustang to compete with on the dragstrip.
“I’ve always had a thing for adrenaline. I was involved with the circus, and I’ve always been one to take life as it is — I was a high wire walker through high school and college and trained by the Wallenda family. I’m not afraid to step out of the box and try something new. My husband Fred and I have a boat on Lake Michigan, and a couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to get my captain’s license, so I took the test with the United States Coast Guard to become a captain. I’m not one to think ’48 years old, what the heck are you doing?’ Male, female, age, none of that is relevant to me,” she said.
From the high wire to the lake to the dragstrip, her choices revolve around going fast and soaring high. This desire for excitement manifested itself over the last several years in trips to the dragstrip with friends to watch the festivities and ultimately to purchase a different car that led her down the path to her current Mustang.
“I had been to the track before to watch and had always said that it would be really cool to have a car to run down there. You have to have dreams. Of course, you dream of having a Pro Mod, but you have to be realistic about it too,” she laughs.
“We’re a divided family — Fred likes his Chevys, and I like my Fords. Fred’s always had a thing for Chevelles, so I purchased a Chevelle for him from a friend of ours as an anniversary gift. It was a former eighth-mile race car and show car. I said, ‘Let me take the car down to US-41 [Motorplex, in Morocco, Indiana]’ and he said, ‘No way, this is my baby, you bought it for me, this is my car, and you’re not going to destroy it at the track.’ Then he suggested purchasing a car to set it up for me to race, and that’s where the car I have now came from,” she says.
Brenspeed built her supercharged 2006 Roush Mustang with a full complement of performance parts designed to make it more fun to drive and be more consistent at the track. She has competed in the NMRA and IHRA with it so far, along with test-and-tune time at US-41 and other tracks. It’s been a blast for her to learn how to drag race. She and Fred go to the track together and tune the chassis themselves with guidance from the Brenspeed gang, along with working to bring new people into the sport. Today she’s a school bus driver by day, and in her free time, she often brings her car to the local auto shop programs to teach the students about track safety and keeping their racing efforts at the track, not on the street.
“We need to get kids involved, so our sport continues to grow and prosper. My goal is to get people to follow their dreams because if I would’ve listened to the people who told me I couldn’t make this happen, I wouldn’t be where I am today. No matter how big your dream seems, it is possible, and that’s what I want people to remember,” she says.