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Buddy Hull Looking Ahead to Busy Race Stretch

NHRA/National Dragster photo

The NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway kicked off an exciting stretch of summer drag racing for Funny Car driver Buddy Hull, driver for Jim Dunn Racing. Epping is the first in a five-week-long period that includes four NHRA national events. This first race was an opportunity for the team to work out some bugs for the rest of the summer stint.

“This five weekend-four race stretch is the perfect incubator for improvement. It gives us zero time to get rusty,” said Hull, who has competed in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. “When you’re only able to take two or three days off, before you have to go right back to it, it creates a pattern. It creates a rhythm, it creates a groove. I think it’s safe to say that the racetracks we have ran on this year have inherently been more challenging than what we’ve seen in the past few years. We’ve had some interesting scenarios. This track, for example, is one that offers a different set of challenges, such as narrow lanes and grooves that are hard to see. But these next few races, we have some really good racetracks, and we’re getting into the heat of the summer, which is the great equalizer, especially for cars like ours that don’t necessarily make the kind of power like the John Force’s and Bob Tasca III’s. That consistency that we’re about to get into is really going to set us on the right path. We’re just going to keep plugging away, and you better believe that we’re going to start getting some round wins under our belts. I guarantee it.”
 
Hull entered race day in the No. 15 position, with his strongest qualifying effort occurring on Saturday during Q3, with a 4.466 second, 203.55 mph pass. The first round on Sunday was a repeat of the recent Route 66 Nationals first round matchup between him and legend John Force.
 
“For two races in a row now, I have left the starting line before John Force, and on both occasions, he has unfortunately gotten to the finish line before me,” said Hull. “It’s just a matter of time before it goes the other way for us, and we’re the ones who finish first. There’s nobody I want to beat more than John Force. And it’s not because I don’t like John, it’s actually the opposite. I want to beat him really bad because I like him a lot. Greatness inspires greatness.”
 
Despite the tough loss, Hull still has an optimistic look on the weekend and the season ahead.
 
“Every single time we’ve come out, we’ve learned something,” said Hull. “We’ve made some errors, but they have all been so minor in the grand scheme of things. We’re learning, and it seems like the first round of every race is when I’m able to do my best work at the starting line. Regardless of who I’m running, I tend to step up on race day and do my job. We’re coming a long way as a team, and we have a really good group of people. I think that’s important to mention. Everyone is doing their job. We have incredible supporters, like Blaze Exhaust Probes. And I think before you know it, we’re going to be winning some rounds.”
 
Hull and the Jim Dunn Racing team will be back in competition next weekend at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee on June 7-9 at Bristol Dragway. There will be two qualifying sessions on Friday, June 7 and two qualifying sessions on Saturday, June 8. For tickets or more information on the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals visit nhra.com.

This story was originally published on June 3, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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