After nearly a week of appearances and qualifying Buddy Hull and his HULL’K Top Fuel dragster, which also gets major backing from Methanol Moonshine and Renegade Race Fuels, narrowly missed racing in the 69th Dodge Power Brokers U. S. Nationals. The businessman and Top Fuel team owner from Dallas, Texas, wrapped up qualifying just .001 of a second behind the 16th quickest Top Fuel competitor in one of the toughest fields in U.S. Nationals history. The team which does not race the full NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series continues to learn and develop a winning combination.
“What we learned this weekend is we need to put ourselves in a situation where qualifying 14, 15, or 16 doesn’t happen anymore,” said Hull. “We need to get ourselves in a spot where we’re consistently running, 3.73 to 3.77 seconds and put ourselves in the field, in the number 10, 11, or 12 spot right from the start.”
Hull started the event on Friday night smoking the tires in the lone night session. The cool temperatures offered excellent conditions for teams that were able to make clean runs. Hull and his Mike Guger tuned 11,000 horsepower HULL’K themed Top Fuel dragster battled over the next two days to make up for the missed opportunity. On Saturday morning they posted a 3.863 second run that had them sitting No. 14 after two sessions. On Sunday morning they posted their best run of the weekend 3.823 seconds at 322.65 mph which moved them to the No. 16 spot on the edge of the qualified field. In the final session they were unable to improve on their performance and Will Smith posted a time of 3.822 seconds to move around Hull.
“When you’re talking about not qualifying by one thousandth of a second, what you’re talking about is roughly a 64th of an inch in terms of the distance over the racetrack versus time,” explained Hull. “There’s a million ways to find that 64th of an inch. You could take a couple pounds off the car, staging the car 1/64 of an inch less which is physically impossible. We learned more about our clutch program this weekend. We are also working on, you know, getting our car figured out. We’re going to get a new car this is going to be over 100 pounds lighter and much more modern in terms of its design. That’s going to help with our ETs.”
The ever-positive driver looked at the event as a whole and was satisfied but disappointed with his U.S. Nationals. From appearances to media events Hull was busy beginning Thursday leading up to the first day of qualifying. Over the race weekend Hull spent time with fans, the media and at his souvenir trailer hyping his HULL’K merchandise which was a hot seller.
“My attitude remains the same,” said Hull. “I’m certainly upset about not qualifying, but there are so many positives from the weekend that I can’t be too upset. We are always learning. My aim in my life is to make a positive impact on people. We did a lot of media and went to Riley Children’s Hospital before the race. We met so many fans and they loved the HULL’K race car. We’re going keep this wrap for St. Louis. I like to change things up but we’re gonna bring the HULL’K back again, and maybe do some other stuff because I also have some other ideas that are really cool.”
Hull and the HULL’K Top Fuel team will be back in action at the Midwest NHRA Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway outside of St Louis, September 28-October 1.