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Hull Makes Sweet Memories in Chicago

NHRA/National Dragster photo

Track conditions and breaking in new parts in Chicago made for a difficult weekend for Funny Car driver Buddy Hull and the Jim Dunn Racing team. But Hull and the team were able to make the most of their weekend at the Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway by surrounding themselves with a sweet new sponsor and participating in a cool firefighting experience.
“We are out here just trying to go A to B and get some data and we are trying to get this car to run into the three-second range,” said Hull. “We have a lot of new parts and pieces, and we are trying to get it all work together. If drag racing was easy, everybody would be doing it. To be able to run John Force first round was quite an honor. We were definitely prepared for that.”

After a strong 4.092 sec, 315.49 mph pass during the second round of qualifying, Hull entered race day in the No. 13 spot. In his first-round matchup against Funny Car legend John Force, Hull had a starting line advantage with a quicker reaction time. Unfortunately, he then hazed the tires and Force made it to the finish line first.
“It’s no secret, the track conditions were tricky,” said Hull. “We have seen it all weekend with everyone going out there spinning and shaking. The thing went out there and kinda took the tire off it, I pedaled it a couple of times and gave up. It headed over there to the center line. I wasn’t interested in going any further and then I saw John go by me. You never like to lose, especially when you have a first-round matchup against John Force, those are ones you don’t want to lose. We will pack up and set our sights on Epping.”
This weekend Hull had the pleasure of sporting a new sponsor, Sweet Classics, on his 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.
“We had a blast this weekend repping Sweet Classics on our car, with our uniform shirts and with special hero cards,” said Hull. “The Thursday before the race [May 16] we were able to bring the car to a local Menards, one of Sweet Classics’ retailers, and interact with fans while promoting the race. I love when we can get the race car away from the track and in the world. Especially when we have such a sweet paint job. Sweet Classics was the first candy company sponsor that we’ve had in the sport in a while, and it was so great to bring them on board for this race. I’m hopeful we’ll be able to bring others into the sport soon.”
In addition to the appearance at Menards on Thursday, Hull joined fellow Funny Car driver and full-time Chicago firefighter Chris King in an afternoon of drills and activities highlighting just a few of the incredible activities firefighters experience. The event was in conjunction with the Romeoville Fire Department, Romeoville Fire Academy and the Joliet Fire Department, and introduced Hull to the challenges and thrills of being a firefighter.
“Huge shoutout to driver Chris King for giving me and a few other competitors of ours the chance to experience what it is like to be a firefighter, and a true local hero,” said Hull. “I’m so thankful that drag racing has introduced me to all of these other offshoot experiences. And mad respect to guys like Chris who have incredibly intense careers while still finding a way to compete at the national level. One of the best parts of this sport is the diversity in our backgrounds and how we’re able to do what we do. I’m proud to compete with guys like Chris, as we continue to make this sport bigger and better.”
Hull and the Jim Dunn Racing team will be back in competition at the end of the month for the NHRA New England Nationals in Epping, New Hampshire on May 31-June 2 at New England Dragway. There will be two qualifying sessions on Friday, May 31 and two qualifying sessions on Saturday, June 1. For tickets or more information on the NHRA New England Nationals visit

This story was originally published on May 20, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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