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Photos: Meet the 17-year-old star taking Presidio’s drag racing scene by storm

Hannah Gentiles for Marfa Public Radio
Dafny Moreno revs her engine at the starting line, while her father Edward Moreno preps their 1979 Chevy Malibu during the time trials at the Presidio International Raceway in Presidio, Texas.

Dafny Moreno is still in high school, but the Presidio student has already made a name for herself in the city’s racing scene.

This weekend, Dafny Moreno will drive her silver 1979 Chevy Malibu onto a quarter-mile racing strip just outside Presidio, where she will go head-to-head against drivers from across the region.

For the 17-year-old high school student, racing is somewhat of a family tradition. Dafny’s father, Edward Moreno, taught her to race just last year. And he was first introduced to the sport by a family friend and mentor, Ismeal Lujan — whose car Dafny now drives. Lujan died in 2019, but Dafny and her father believe Lujan would be proud of Dafny’s accomplishments on the racetrack.

In the last year, Moreno has ranked among some of the top finishers at the Presidio International Raceway, clocking some of the fastest times at each race. The young driver is already making a name for herself and racking up awards, but she still has one more goal in sight: racing her father before she graduates.