Most NHRA drivers try to go fast as lightning, but for Top Fuel team owner and driver Buddy Hull, he took that saying a little too literally. While on his way to the NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway, the cab of his trailer was struck by lightning. The bad luck did not end there when he qualified in the No. 17 spot, just missing the race on Sunday. Luckily, his sponsor Baker Trucking in Murreyville, Illinois, was able to provide the team with a cab for the St. Louis and upcoming Texas Fall Nationals in Dallas.
“This is a tough one,” said Hull. “I don’t know of another team that has had some of the issues we have dealt with this season. We got struck by lightning getting to the race and then we miss the show on speed. The things that could have gone our way to get us that sixteenth spot and miniscule. My hat is off to the 16 cars that made the show. This is a tough, tough class and we are going to keep working hard.”
The Dallas business owner has been racing a limited schedule during the 2023 Camping World Drag Racing season, so every race is a chance to learn more in the cockpit and tune the car just a bit better. For smaller teams, the difference between a race weekend with three rounds of qualifying and four is huge.
“Crew Chief Mike Guger had a good handle on our tune up and if we would have had one more run, we would have easily been in the show,” said Hull. “These three qualifying-run races are tough on teams like ours that don’t do every race. The first and sometimes second run are usually a shakedown run because we don’t do any testing. That leaves us with one all-or-nothing run. We were so close, but I could not be more thankful to have this opportunity.”
Hull’s best round of racing came in round three of qualifying, when he ran a straight, 3.920 second pass at 312.06 mph. But for him, this weekend wasn’t just about how fast he made it down the track. The St. Louis race marked the second time he was able to show off his rebranded Methanol Moonshine and Vertex Roofing Top Fuel dragster with a kid friendly HULL’K design.
“People loved the HULL’K Top Fuel dragster,” said Hull. “I want to thank Methanol Moonshine for working with us to make it happen. We will be racing with a new design highlighting the Down Syndrome Foundation of North Texas for the Stampede of Speed and Texas Fall Nationals in Dallas. We are already getting donations and we want to hit our goal of $50,000 raised for this awesome organization.”
For Hull, drag racing is a vehicle to help make a difference for causes he cares about, while participating in a sport that he loves. A bonus is getting to do it all with his favorite people.
“I have surrounded myself with the best team out there,” said Hull. “My crew guys were amazing this weekend and we will be ready to go in Dallas. We’re hoping for better results all around at our hometown track. I know we will be a team to look out for.”
The driver of the Methanol Moonshine/Renegade Fuel Top Fuel dragster will be competing at the Fall Nationals in Dallas and the Las Vegas Nationals in October driving the Down Syndrome Foundation of North Texas branded race car.