Julie Nataas grew up right outside of Norway’s capital in a small town called Drøbak with her home racetrack, Gardermoen Raceway an hour away. Ever since Julie was born, she followed her dad, Thomas Nataas, to the racetracks all around Europe. Thomas Nataas raced Pro Mod, Funny Car, and Top Fuel Dragster in the FIA European Championship. Julie’s grandfather, Albin Nataas was also a drag racer and was on the road with them to every race until he passed away in 2003. Julie got to see her dad break records, win awards, trophies, and championships. She wanted to be just like her dad, and when she found out she could race a jr.dragster at the age of eight-years old, that was all she ever talked about.
A year later, when Julie was nine-years-old, she got her first jr.dragster. They completely rebuilt the jr.dragster to make it look like her dad’s Top Fuel Dragster. New engine, paint, and they added a wing and side panels. Julie raced her jr.dragster at Gardermoen Raceway in Norway until her little brother, Kevin Nataas, was old enough to race, and they had to add a jr.dragster to the family. Julie and her brother raced at the smaller racetracks in Norway and Sweden.
Julie and her brother wanted to race a lot more than what they were doing in the jr.dragsters, so they started racing go-karts. They would practice after school on the weekdays, and on the weekends, they would either go to a go-kart race or a drag race. In 2011, when Julie was 14, she got the opportunity to race a Formula Basic Car. At this point, Julie got busy racing in three different motorsport categories: go-kart, drag racing, and now driving a Formula Basic car. She loved being active with racing, but after two seasons driving in three different classes, she had to decide which type of racing she wanted to continue with. There was simply not enough time for her to compete for a championship in three different categories.
When Julie was 15 years old, the Nataas family bought a Super Comp Dragster from the United States. They shipped it to Santa Pod Raceway in England. Julie and her dad flew to England every weekend from Easter time until the season started in May to practice. Her first race in her Super Comp Dragster was a FIA event at Santa Pod Raceway. This is the first time Julie raced outside of Scandinavia. The same year Julie got accepted into a private high school for athletes, Wang Vgs in Oslo. This allowed Julie to race a lot more while still being in school and since her ultimate dream and goal was, and still is Top Fuel this was going to help her. In 2014 Julie finished 2nd in her first and only European Drag Racing Series Championship and finish 1st in her region.
In 2015 Julie applied to Santa Barbara City College in California to live in the United States for a year. She wanted to get to know the NHRA community, live in a different country, and do something different before going back to Norway. Julie got the acceptance letter from Santa Barbara City College a couple of months before graduating from Wang High School in Oslo, Norway. Julie loved living in California and NHRA. The thought of moving back to Norway crushed her. When the year was over, she flew back to Norway with all kinds of papers from universities in California. She knew California and NHRA was her place to be when she boarded the plan to Norway. She wrote her university application on the plane and sent it in as soon as she landed.
Julie returned to California after the summer with an acceptance letter from Antioch University. While getting her bachelor she was also at as many NHRA races she could possibly go to and in 2017 she got her NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster license with Randy Meyer Racing. She raced a couple races at the end of 2017, went to one final and ran a record breaking run in Pomona, CA. In 2018 she raced the Randy Meyer Racing Top Alcohol Dragster part-time while finishing her bachelor. Julie graduated from Antioch University September 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Business and Entrepreneurship.
2019 was Julie’s first full-time year as an NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster Driver with Randy Meyer Racing. She won her first national event, regional event won the Pro Sportsman driver of the year award and won the North Central Regional Championship.
It’s now been more than five years since Julie move to the United States. Norway has yet to see her move back “home home” like she said she would.