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Shawn Reed Returns to Full-Time NHRA Top Fuel Competition in 2024; Forms Technical Partnership with AB Motorsports and Antron Brown

In a move that will strengthen the already ultra-competitive NHRA Top Fuel division, veteran Top Fuel and drag boat racer Shawn Reed will return to full-time NHRA competition in 2024 as the owner/driver of the Shawn Reed Racing (SRR) Reed Truck & Excavating Top Fuel dragster, it was announced during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show in Indianapolis. 
Reed, who last competed in NHRA competition at the first two races of 2020 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, has hired experienced nitro tuner Rob Wendland as lead crew chief and an expert team of technicians led by assistant crew chief Ryan Elliott. The seasoned crew of the SRR team most recently worked for Cruz Pedregon Racing and before that, saw success at Don Schumacher Racing as part of Tommy Johnson, Jr.’s Funny Car team. 

SRR also announced a technical and advancement alliance with AB Motorsports and three-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown’s Matco Tools team. Wendland and Elliott will work closely with Brown’s tuning duo of Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald who have led 56 of Brown’s 58 Top Fuel triumphs. 
The SRR team will be based in the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) building in Brownsburg, Ind., and has taken delivery of a new chassis from Morgan Lucas Racing’s Brownsburg fabrication shop and its race trailer from Pegasus Trailers in Ohio. A second trailer is scheduled to be delivered in the Spring. SRR will run many of the same race car components as the Matco team, three-time winners in 2023, including the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals, and share developmental data. 
“I love to compete, especially at the highest level against the best racers in the world and there isn’t a more competitive class in the NHRA than Top Fuel,” Reed said. “The need for speed is what really drives and motivates me. I’m not getting younger, and I want to live this dream. It’s truly a YOLO moment for me. My ultimate goal is to make this a business and give others the opportunity to be successful in the NHRA. 
“Thank you to Barbara and Floyd Hughes of Hughes Oilfield and Transportation. I wouldn’t have this opportunity without their funding and friendship. They have inspired me to live my dream and pursue driving full time.”
Reed, who grew up in the backyard of Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., won five International Hot Boat Association (IHBA) championships before earning his NHRA Top Fuel license at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School in 2014. He made his Top Fuel debut at the famed Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. in 2015, and three years later, advanced to the final round of the 2018 Gainesville event. 
“I want to learn from Antron like he did from Don Schumacher all of those years before becoming an owner/driver,” Reed added. “Rob (Wendland) talked to Antron about a second car. He didn’t want to expand ABM that quickly, so we continued to talk and develop a friendship and he’s been a great mentor providing good counsel these past few years. We’ll run identical parts and work closely with Brian, Mark, and Brad Mason at ABM. Rob and that team work together very well and I’m super stoked to get started. I wish it was next March already.”
The SRR team will remain busy during the NHRA offseason building a race car and inventory of new parts and components before testing in February and March. The 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series begins March 8-10 at Gainesville, Fla. 

This story was originally published on December 11, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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