NHRA top end announcer Jason Galvin said it best, when he called Top Fuel driver and team owner, Buddy Hull, the “happiest first round loser he’s ever seen.” Hull, a Dallas-based business owner, claimed it’s impossible to not be thrilled when you make your career-quickest and fastest run ever, going against eventual race runner-up and longtime friend, Steve Torrence, at the NHRA Texas Fall Nationals today.
“I’m just so excited to be out here, competing in the 38th annual NHRA Texas Fall Nationals,” said Hull. “Dallas is my home track, because it’s a city that has poured into me as much as I have into it. On top of that, the Stampede of Speed hosted by the Texas Motorplex is just about as much fun as you can ever have.”
In his 17th career start, Hull qualified in the No. 16 spot, after making a strong 3.780 second, 321.11 mph pass in the first round of qualifying. At the time, it was the quickest pass of his career.
“Round one of qualifying on Friday really fired me up,” said Hull. “It was exactly what we needed to kick off the weekend and show the Top Fuel field that we are here to compete. And then we had three more rounds of qualifying to help us figure some tuning stuff out. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The races with four rounds of qualifying are the best for teams like ours, because that extra qualifying pass makes all the difference when you aren’t racing every weekend.”
It then got even better on Sunday during race day, when Hull made a 3.739 second, 324.42 mph pass, the quickest and fastest run of his career. In a strong side-by-side race, Hull just barely fell to Torrence, who made a 3.664 second, 333.21 mph pass.
“I love racing Steve Torrence,” said Hull. “He and I always joke around, because I’ve raced him more than anyone else out here. For us to come out here and run a 3.73… Steve and I left at practically the same exact time, and a career-best run for me. All I said to Steve when I got out of the car was “dude that was awesome, we had a lot of fun, now finish this thing off!””
On top of a career best, Hull had a blast during the Fall Nationals, being one of the most involved drivers during the Stampede of Speed. Hull opened the 10-day motorsports and music extravaganza competing in the inaugural Texas Invitational match race last Saturday and Sunday. He was then able to interact with fans by signing autographs at the annual Fan Fest event.
“The Stampede of Speed is a world-class event that I look forward to every year,” said Hull. “This year’s event was the best yet, and I think the fans could tell. There’s a different energy in the air when fans can get more in on the action, with all of the events and close-up time with us drivers. It’s what really sets this sport apart, and one of the many reasons why I love it so much.”
Hull took the excitement of the Fall Nationals even further by debuting a new lime green and teal paint scheme, raising awareness and money for the Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas. Leading up to and during the race weekend, fans could donate to the Buddy Hull Racing Fundraising page, supporting their goal of supporting individuals with Down syndrome, their families and caregivers in achieving the universally desired goals of self-fulfillment, pride in one’s achievements, inclusion in the community and reaching one’s fullest potential through social and educational activities.
“I absolutely love being able to support incredible organizations like DSPNT,” said Hull. “I’m working really hard with my team to compete at even more races next season, and to be able to shed a light on some really great causes. This year was all about building to where we want to be in 2024, and I am confident that we will be even better next season.”