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Buddy Hull to Debut Mooneyes Funny Car at Winternationals

After an exciting Funny Car debut at the Gatornationals, driver Buddy Hull is ready to take on the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip on March 21-24. Hull, a driver for Jim Dunn Racing, will be showcasing an iconic Jim Dunn Mooneyes Funny Car body for the first time this year.

“I am over the moon to be competing at the Winternationals again,” said Hull. “This weekend we’re switching the body on the car to have a retro Mooneyes look. We’re super happy about it and can’t wait for the world to see it. It’s a cool race car, and to debut it in California, which is the homeland of drag racing, will just be an incredible experience. Mooneyes has been a sponsor for Jim Dunn Racing for a long time, and to show off this iconic car and represent Big Jim is a big deal to me.”
 
Moon Equipment Company, a California-based manufacturer of nostalgic hot rod products such as Moon tanks, discs and valve covers, will wrap its classic yellow Mooneyes graphics on the Jim Dunn Racing Funny Car for this year’s Winternationals. Jim Dunn Racing and Mooneyes have a relationship dating back over thirty years, and Hull is excited to share in this legacy.
 
“Relationships in this sport are everything,” said Hull. “The fact that Mooneyes has been a part  of the Jim Dunn Racing team for so long shows the talent and integrity of what the Jim Dunn name stands for. And I’ve always loved having really cool car bodies, like my Hull’k Top Fuel dragster that I debuted at the U.S. Nationals last year. It’s a great way to engage with fans and demonstrate one of the many reasons why drag racing is so much fun.”
 
Southern California has been the home of Jim Dunn Racing since 1949, so the Winternationals means a lot to the team as a whole. On Friday, Hull, Jim Dunn, and Jon Dunn will be part of Funny Car 101 at the Nitro Alley Stage at 1:30 p.m. PST. And on Sunday morning, Hull and the Dunns will lead the Sealmaster Track Walk before the start of eliminations.
 
“The Winternationals is one of the most iconic events in drag racing,” said Hull. “I’ve always loved racing here and have enjoyed some of my best success at this race. So now that I am part of the Jim Dunn Racing team, it’s incredible to have an even greater reason to want to succeed and make Big Jim proud. I know we will continue to get better and better over the course of the weekend.”
 
After making three qualifying runs in the Funny Car in Gainesville and one elimination round, in addition to testing done during the off-season, Hull is getting more and more confident in the car and himself as a driver, going into the Winternationals.
 
“Every run in the car you learn more, and the car teaches you something,” said Hull. “I’ve now made enough runs and been in the car enough time, that I’m not having to think about where anything is at. I’m just focusing on doing my job as the race car driver. The first three, four or five runs in a race car you have to think about ‘the lever is here’ and ‘this is how the pedal feels,’ but that’s over with, at this point. It’s simply just getting in there and doing my part as a good race car driver.”
 
One of many positive outcomes from the Gatornationals was the outpouring of support that Hull received from the Funny Car class about his transition from the Top Fuel field into Funny Car.
 
“It was great to get a warm welcome from the Funny Car guys at Gainesville,” said Hull. “They really welcomed me into the Funny Car class. It’s been so cool to make the crossover from Top Fuel to Funny Car and from part-time to full-time. I was able to spend some time talking to Ron Capps, Bob Tasca III and John Force during the Gatornationals, and they’ve all welcomed me in with open arms. They’re allowing me to fit in, in my own way. I can’t wait to see the impact I have on the field over the course of this year.”
 
In addition to Mooneyes, this weekend Hull will be representing sponsors Vertex Roofers and General Contractors, Solid Start/True Brand Products, Lescure Mechanical Services, Crow Safety, Blaze Exhaust Probes, Koppl  Pipeline Services, Good Vibrations Motorsports, KGC Construction, Powerbuilt Tools and Wiley X.
 
Hull and the Jim Dunn Racing team will be making one qualifying run on Friday, March 22 and two qualifying runs on Saturday, March 23 at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip. The top 16 quickest Funny Cars in the field will have a chance to compete for a Winternationals Wally on Sunday, March 24. The first round of eliminations will begin on Sunday at 11 a.m. PST. Fans can watch the finals live on FS1. For tickets or more information on the NHRA Winternationals visit nhra.com.

This story was originally published on March 19, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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