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Buddy Hull Seeking to Build a Legacy at Thunder Valley

Buddy Hull phoot

Legendary tracks like Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tennessee are one of many points of inspiration and self-reflection for driver Buddy Hull, a rookie Funny Car driver for Jim Dunn Racing. This weekend, Hull will be competing in the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, June 7-9, attempting to further his legacy as a professional drag racer.
 
“Historic tracks like Bristol make me reflect on how I’m working hard to create a name for myself, and to create some momentum and a legacy for myself and my family,” said Hull. “I have a son on the way. Hopefully I can create opportunities for him in the future, if he also wants to be in the drag racing world. I’m trying to create a legacy name for our family.”

Hull, who transitioned from driving Top Fuel to nitro Funny Car at the beginning of the 2024 Mission Foods Drag Racing Series, will be competing at Thunder Valley for the first time in his career this weekend. Though this will be his professional debut in the mountains, he has fond memories of attending the races there as a kid.
 
“I love these historic tracks because I’m still a drag racing fan,” said Hull. “Yes, I’m a professional drag racer, but I’ll always also be a fan. I grew up at the racetrack and I remember the first time I went to Bristol as a little kid, I rode there in the sleeper of a of a 1985 Dually. There were six of us back in this Dually, with no air conditioning, and with a Top Alcohol Funny Car and a 24-foot trailer behind it. I remember pulling in there and going ‘man, this is so cool.’ I thought to myself that being at the racetrack was like being on vacation, because it was so beautiful.”
 
For the second of four races, Hull will be racing with his Blaze Exhaust Probes paint scheme on his Funny Car, representing one of Jim Dunn Racing’s season-long sponsors. Since 1996, Blaze has been a leading full-service temperature sensor manufacturer that offers solutions for even the most demanding applications. Their reputation for creating the most rugged sensors available has made them a top choice in the industry.
 
“The people at Blaze are just so great,” said Hull. “They have been rallying around the Jim Dunn team for a while now, and whenever we race with their body it always looks so cool. And it feels fitting that our car looks like it’s on fire during the heat of the summer race season. We’re going to represent them well this weekend.”
 
In addition to Blaze Exhaust Probes, Hull will be repping season-long sponsors Vertex Roofers and General Contractors, Solid Start/True Brand Products, Lescure Mechanical Services, Crow Safety, Compass Facility Services, KGC Construction, Koppl Pipeline Services, Mooneyes, Good Vibrations Motorsports, Powerbuilt Tools and Wiley X.
 
“Thunder Valley is a fan and driver favorite for a reason,” said Hull. “I can’t wait to be out there in that atmosphere with the fans, geeking out about how loud the echo of the mountains make the cars sound. This is the second race in a five-week, four race stretch, so we should be able to continue to get a really solid momentum for ourselves. It’s going to be a fun time for sure, and I’m looking forward to making our sponsors proud.”
 
Hull and the Jim Dunn Racing team will be making two qualifying runs on Friday, June 7 and two qualifying runs on Saturday, June 8 at Bristol Dragway. The top 16 quickest Funny Cars in the field will move on to compete during race day on Sunday, June 9. The first round of eliminations will begin on Sunday at 12 p.m. EST. Fans can watch the finals on FS1. For tickets or more information on the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals visit nhra.com.

This story was originally published on June 5, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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