Buddy Hull has been steadily building his racing program, and heading into the NHRA Topeka Nationals the Dallas-based businessman and Top Fuel racer is eager to make some big strides this weekend. This will be Hull’s fifth event of the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series and Hull has faced a plethora of challenges, but the rising star in the NHRA is undeterred. The Renegade Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster with backing from Methanol Moonshine will be ready to race this weekend starting on Friday at Heartland Park Topeka.
“This is one of the hardest things I have ever done but it is also one of the most satisfying,” said Hull, as the team prepares for a return engagement to Heartland Park Topeka. “We had some mechanical issues that really had us scratching our heads at the start of the season. We got those sorted out after Chicago and we had a great race in Denver. We ran really well and most importantly we didn’t hurt any parts. I can’t wait to get to Topeka and really see what we can do. I have to thank my crew chief Mike Guger for really putting in some long hours to get this car where it needs to be.”
Hull and veteran tuner Guger teamed up at the beginning of this year and the partnership has taken Hull’s race team to the next level. Throughout his career Hull has maintained a level of excellence as he has grown his program consistently improving his parts inventory and building a crew that give him a race car that can compete with the full-time operations at NHRA national events. This season Hull has also added additional marketing support to extend his brand as well as the impact for his primary sponsors Renegade Race Fuels and Methanol Moonshine.
Hull will also be receiving support from local companies, including Laird Noller Ford who is supplying Hull with a tow vehicle to move Hull’s 12,000-horsepower Renegade Fuels Top Fuel dragster from the pits to the starting line. Additionally, Hull is getting support from Equipment Share in Topeka.
“We work to present our operation just like the full-time teams because that is where I want to be very soon,” said Hull. “We work with national and regional companies to make sure we are giving them exposure and great customer services. In Denver, we hosted guests from a number of different companies and everyone had a blast. NHRA drag racing is one of the most exciting sports on the planet and the marketing opportunities are amazing.”
Last year racing at the Topeka Nationals for the first time Hull qualified 15th and lost a close first round race to Justin Ashley. This year Hull will be looking to improve on that effort and pick up a few round wins in Topeka before turning his attention to the biggest race of the year, the U.S. Nationals.
“No one is looking past Topeka but we are looking to get a lot of things squared away this weekend so we can have a great event in Indy,” said Hull. “The info we got in Denver will hopefully continue to improve in Topeka and we would love to be a Cinderella story at the biggest race of the year. I am very comfortable in the race car and Mike has a solid tune-up. I am sad this will be the final Topeka, but I am excited we will be racing in Kansas City in 2024.”
The final Topeka Nationals will be a bittersweet race for Hull and his team considering it is one of the closer events to his home base in Dallas, Texas. The driver and team owner understands that change is inevitable and he also believed the philosophy that when one door closes another one opens.
“There was a lot of history at the Topeka track but we can make a lot of history in Kansas City starting in 2024,” said Hull. “The events we have raced this season have been packed. Phoenix was a sell-out. Chicago was packed. Denver had so many people it was awesome. I think we will have great crowds in Topeka and Indy. I love racing on the NHRA tour and I am doing everything in my power to get out here full-time. It is a process, but I love a challenge.”
Hull and the Renegade Top Fuel team will get their first crack at the track on Friday night then they will have two more qualifying runs on Saturday, August 12. Final eliminations will commence on Sunday at 11 a.m. The race will be broadcast nationally on FS1 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. ET.