As the 28-year-old driver of the Gas Monkey Energy Camaro, Alex Laughlin is one of the fresh young faces in the NHRA Pro Stock pits. He’s quickly transformed himself from a true rookie driver into a serious contender in just over a year since he made his professional debut. The former shifter kart champion narrowly missed the 2016 Countdown for the Championship after bowing out in the second round of eliminations at the U.S. Nationals, but he seems to be enjoying the spoiler role. Laughlin reached the semifinals at the Carolina Nationals and raced to his first-ever NHRA event win at the NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis last weekend.
After turning on the fourth and final win light at Gateway Motorsports Park last Sunday, Laughlin shared with us the playlist that helped him get focused for race day. Unlike the eclectic mix of songs on the first DI Playlist from NHRA Funny Car star Alexis DeJoria, Laughlin’s DI Playlist is made up entirely of songs from Redlight King. The Canadian musician has ties to motorsports and car culture, and he’s even been to the NHRA races.
“I got to know Redlight King’s music just through a random CD that someone left on my boat,” Laughlin said. “All of his stuff became my favorite music. For Christmas, Chuck, who does the back half on our car, got me a signed picture off eBay. Then I started thinking, ‘How cool would it be to invite this guy out to a race?’ Before Pomona this year, I sent him a direct message on Instagram and he wrote back, ‘Dude, that’s so cool. I’d love to be affiliated in any way.’ He came out and hung out for the weekend.”
Laughlin says he will listen to just about anything on the radio, but it’s Redlight King’s “authentic” music that flows through his headphones come Sunday. He especially likes “Times Are Hard” and “Bullet In My Hand”, as well as “Born To Rise”, the lead track on Alex Laughlin’s DI Playlist.
“‘Born to Rise’ relates to what we’re doing here. Racing Pro Stock is what I’ve always wanted to do. We keep moving forward in the right direction, just keep rising up and doing a little bit better. That song in specific really gets me fired up.”