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Hull Excited for a Sweet Time in Chicago

Entering what you could consider as Q2 of the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series, Funny Car driver Buddy Hull is confident he has some strong momentum from the first five races of the year. As he prepares for this weekend’s Gerber Collision & Glass NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway, just outside of Chicago, he is fired up to keep the momentum going.
 
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this season is a marathon and not a sprint,” said Hull, driver for the iconic Jim Dunn Racing team. “We’re five races in and we still have fifteen to go. We have nine races left until the Countdown, so we just have to keep buckling down, and improving bit by bit, which is what we have been doing.”

Most recently, Hull made his best qualifying start as a rookie Funny Car driver at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, entering race day in the No. 13 spot. During qualifying at the same race, he made his quickest and fastest run in his Funny Car to date.
 
“We had a lot of things go right for us in Charlotte,” said Hull. “Our goal for this weekend in Chicago is to take those things that went right during four-wide and build on them, so we have an even better qualifying position, to increase our chances of taking a few round wins. Nothing would make me happier right now than to see a win light. We are becoming a more competitive team with every race, and I want to keep that energy going. I want every driver I go against to know they are going to have to work hard for it, if they want to beat me.”
 
Outside of being a tough competitor, Hull is also becoming more of an ambassador for the sport. This weekend Hull and Jim Dunn Racing will be debuting their new Sweet Classics nitro Funny Car. Sweet Classics candy from Mondoux Confectionery in Canada is a traditional mix of high-quality candies that are peanut and nut-free, gluten-free and come in convenient resealable packaging.
 
“I don’t care if this is a cheesy thing to say, but this is quite literally a sweet ride,” said Hull. “Since we announced this new partnership last week, everyone I’ve talked to has commented on how incredible the car looks. It’s bursting with personality and just makes you want to smile. I am so excited to bring candy company Sweet Classics into the world of drag racing and introduce the sport to their base of consumers. Just like how they have a Sweet and Sour Mix, drag racing has a mix of sweet and sour personalities. I have quite the sweet tooth myself, so this is a perfect pairing in my book. I’m grateful every time that we can bring a new brand or company into this world, because it just keeps making the tent bigger.”
 
In addition to the bright car design, Hull and the Jim Dunn team will be repping Sweet Classics uniform shirts, and specialty hero cards have been made for the weekend. Chicago fans will also be able to see the Sweet Classics Funny Car up close and in-person on Thursday, May 16 at Menards (2524 W Jefferson Street, Joliet, IL, 60435) from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. There, Hull will be signing the specialty cards, posing for photos and talking with fans about the race.
 
“I can’t wait to interact with fans and get them excited for this weekend’s race,” said Hull. “Any time we can get an actual car away from the track and out in the world, it’s an opportunity to get current fans pumped up and introduce new fans to the sport. I’m proud to be that ambassador.”
 
Hull and the Jim Dunn Racing team will be making two qualifying runs on Friday, May 17 and two qualifying runs on Saturday, May 18 at Route 66 Raceway. The top 16 quickest Funny Cars in the field will go on to compete during race day on Sunday, May 19. The first round of eliminations will begin on Sunday at 11 a.m. CST. Fans can watch the finals on FS1. For tickets or more information on the NHRA Route 66 Nationals visit nhra.com.

This story was originally published on May 15, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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