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Buddy Hull Finds Confidence In Topeka

As the saying goes, nothing worth having comes easily. No one knows this better than Top Fuel team owner and driver Buddy Hull. After making two solid runs during qualifying and appearing in the No. 12 spot on Sunday, Hull suffered a tough loss to Clay Millican during the Menards NHRA Nationals Presented By PetArmor.
“Nothing in my life has ever come easily and because of that, I believe that’s why I’ve gotten where I’ve gotten,” said Hull. “It’s taught me to never quit, never stop, never give up and just keep going. And that’s exactly what I am doing.”

In his fifth event of the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, Hull made a 3.941 second, 320.74 mph pass during the first round – his best pass of the weekend. Unfortunately, it was not enough against Clay Millican, who is currently No. 10 in the points in the category.
“Clay and his car are awesome,” said the driver of the Renegade Fuel Top Fuel dragster. “Right now Clay is one of the best cars out here. I always want to race the best of the best so if I got beat by Clay, I have to respect that and do better next time. We made a respectable run and got some great data. And we would have won a lot of other matchups in the first round.” 
Hull and his team have had the opportunity to collect lots of data this season in adverse conditions between racing in the Denver mountains at Bandimere Speedway in July and waiting out a rain delay this weekend in Topeka.
“The weather delay is something that is just part of the game,” said Hull. “We’re not just racing against our opponents, but Mother Nature to a certain extent. Things like that do not bother me. We all have to wait. We all have the same racetrack. And we all have to experience the same humidity and conditions. I don’t believe in excuses. We got beat today, but we’ll learn how to race better in these kinds of conditions tomorrow.”
As the season has progressed, Hull and his Renegade Methanol Moonshine Top Fuel team have continued to become faster and more consistent, on and off the track. And their confidence is only growing.

“The team is coming together, and morale is very high,” said Hull. “[Crew Chief] Mike Guger is extremely confident in finding what has been wrong with our race car. Those first couple races we were off. Now we have a handle on the car. We dropped a cylinder out there at 500 feet, but it was really just because of conditions. It wasn’t a tuning mistake. We feel very confident that we’re going to go into Indy with guns blazing.”
Hull’s next events include the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals on Aug. 30-Sep. 4, the NHRA Midwest Nationals on Sep. 29-Oct. 1, the Texas NHRA Fall Nationals on Oct. 12-15 and the NHRA Nevada Nationals on Oct. 26-29.

This story was originally published on August 14, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.