Bringing speed and safety to the sport of drag racing
Published: Feb 07, 2024
Juma Riley is the Senior Manager of Operations for Ammonia/Urea Production at our Nitrogen facility in Trinidad. His history with Nutrien started in 1997 when he worked as an Operations Trainee, during which time he commissioned the PL-4 Ammonia Unit.
“The two parts of my job that I enjoy the most are connecting with people daily and forming a strong network,” says Juma. “I like overcoming challenges and being able to share those experiences with my team.”
When he’s not at work, Juma’s favorite hobby is drag racing, a type of motor racing in which vehicles compete in an acceleration contest. Juma was first introduced to the sport at just eight years old. He didn’t start officially competing in races until he turned 18, but he spent the years leading up to that learning about cars from the best – his dad, who was a drag racer in the 1970s.
Juma is continuing the family legacy by competing every month, and last year he placed fourth overall in the 11-second bracket in Trinidad and Tobago.
“The greatest joy of racing, apart from the adrenaline rush, is when the car performs at its best after many hours of toiling to be ready on race day,” says Juma. “One of my favorite memories was achieving a personal best of 10 seconds on the quarter mile and all my fellow racers congratulating me.”
Juma drives a Mazda RX-7 powered by a Wankel 2 rotary engine – and as you can see in the video below, he’s speedy. That’s why safety is so important, and Juma invokes the actions of The Nutrien Way before and during races.
“Home safe, every day is the motto I live by,” he says. “As a driver, I complete a pre-race checklist to ensure there are no deficiencies, wear the right personal protective equipment (PPE), immediately take my foot off the gas and come to a complete stop if there are changes in parameters or conditions, and take frequent pauses as I approach the starting grid to focus on the safety of myself, fellow competitors and officials.”
This is a top priority for Juma so that he returns home safely to his wife and kids after every race. “Collaborate and Trust are two actions that are part of our Culture of Care, and I believe they are also key to having a successful race day,” he says. “As a team, we have to support and listen to each other. Trust is the backbone to ensuring that we have an incident-free quarter mile pass.”
Watch Juma in action