Shawn Reed Returns to Full-Time NHRA Top Fuel Competition in 2024; Forms Technical Partnership with AB Motorsports and Antron Brown
INDIANAPOLIS – 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 today 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.
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Brainerd Motorsports Park has reached a multi-year sanction agreement with the World Drag Racing Alliance (WDRA) and becomes the eighth new facility to join the flourishing WDRA member track network ahead of the 2024 season.
Formerly sanctioned by IHRA, the eighth-mile drag strip in Ringgold, Georgia, is home to a multitude of racers who enjoy a wide range of racing action from March through November. Owned and operated by Steven and Amy Farrow, Brainerd Motorsports Park events include a points series, big money bracket racing, the monthly Big Dog Brawl, motorcycle drags, nostalgia racing, several impressive junior dragster events, index races, and more.
“We love the passion and dedication Steve and Amy bring to the Alliance,” said Frank Kohutek from WDRA. “They are also both active racers which gives them a unique perspective within the drag racing community. They are both very dedicated to their track and their racers. We appreciate them evaluating the WDRA member track programs and benefits and making an informed decision to trust us to go to work for their operation and their racers.”
INDIANAPOLIS – Newly crowned FIA Top Fuel champion Ida Zetterström is on the move. Zetterström announced today her plans to make her NHRA Top Fuel debut with JCM Racing during the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season. The Finnish driver is making a major commitment to her NHRA goals by moving to the United States to pursue her dreams of competing for an NHRA world championship. She plans to run a limited schedule in 2024 with the goal of running a full-time campaign in 2025.
“This is truly a dream come true,” said Zetterström, the FIA Top Fuel record holder for elapsed time and speed. “I’ve been working towards this goal for years now, and to have Joe Maynard and the JCM Racing organization recognize my efforts and potential means so much. I’m so thankful for everyone who has helped me reach this point, including all the NHRA drivers who have offered tips and guidance.
“The plan for now is to run at least five events next year starting in the second half of the season, but we are actively pursuing partners in hopes of running as many races as possible, as soon as possible. I’m ready to hit the ground running!” added Zetterström, who in addition to competing for NHRA Wally trophies, will also be battling for the title of NHRA’s 2024 Rookie of the Year.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Multi-time Pro Stock winner Camrie Caruso will chase her first NHRA Mission Food Drag Racing Series Pro Stock world championship with Tequila Comisario primary branding adorning her Chevrolet Camaro race car for 20 of the 21 NHRA national events and the PRO Superstar Shootout, February 8-10, 2024, at Bradenton Motorsports Park. The marketing relationship between Caruso and Tequila Comisario has steadily grown over the past three seasons with 2024 marking a major expansion both on and off the track. In addition to the on-track branding Tequila Comisario and Caruso will be working with tracks and off-site promotional partners to introduce even more fans to the ultra-premium tequila. Caruso will also be making select appearances in advance of NHRA national events to promote Tequila Comisario and she will continue as a brand ambassador with CW Spirits who handle online purchases for Tequila Comisario.
From left NHRA on FOX announcer Tony Pedregon, Pro Stock driver Camrie Caruso, and Tequila Comisario’s Fran Vivenzio announce season long sponsorship. (photo courtesy of Werner Communications)
“We have shown over the past two seasons that marketing with our team and the NHRA has worked for Tequila Comisario,” said Caruso, who won her first Pro Stock national event last year at the Arizona Nationals. “The Tequila Comisario team has been great to work with and we are thrilled to help them grow their brand. We will have even more cool events on and off track. Tequila Comisario is the kind of marketing partner anyone would dream of having. They have an amazing product and they aggressively market it.”
HOUSE SPRINGS, MO – Actions speak louder than words as the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) is providing a unique opportunity for its member tracks! Thanks to IHRA partners Morrow Brothers Ford of Greenfield, Illinois and Extreme Racing Oils, IHRA member tracks will be given tickets to distribute for a chance to win a new Ford F150 crew cab XLT Sport truck with 4-wheel drive estimated valued at $60,000. This one-of-a-kind contest will be only held at IHRA-member tracks with more prizes to be announced soon.
The grand prize winner will take home an incredible new vehicle which features the XLT Sport Package, a 10-speed automatic transmission, a towing package and a lot of nice amenities. Winner will be announced at the 2024 IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals.
“When we took over ownership of the IHRA, we promised a strong commitment to the grassroots, Sportsman racers and our tracks,” IHRA Owner & CEO Larry Jeffers said. “You’ve seen through our actions how we’d worked to give more value to the racers and tracks than ever before.”
Morrow Brothers Ford has been a longtime supporter of auto racing. They sponsor the MOWA Sprint Car Series and the dealership’s general manager, John Wellenkamp, is a longtime drag racer who pilots a 1985 Ford Mustang. They’re excited to partner with IHRA on this new venture.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Top Fuel driver Jacob McNeal will begin his NHRA Rookie of the Year campaign driving the Poseidon Oilfield Services Top Fuel dragster at the historic NHRA Gatornationals, March 8-10, 2024, at Gainesville Raceway. McNeal, who raced four races in 2023 driving Scott Palmer’s Top Fuel dragster recently purchased the Top Fuel operation of Buddy Hull and will have veteran crew chief Mike Guger making the tuning calls during the 2024 Mission Food Drag Racing Series season. The Poseidon Oilfield Services Top Fuel dragster will compete at Gainesville, the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals, the Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals, the Gerber Collison & Glass Rt 66 Nationals in Chicago, the newly announced Virginia Nationals, the Stampede of Speed and Texas Fall Nationals in Dallas and the Nevada Nationals in October. Additionally, McNeal has plans to compete at the yet to be announced NHRA national event in July and the US Nationals.
“This is a huge step for me and I could not be more excited. I have to thank Scott Palmer and Buddy Hull for all their encouragement and support,” said McNeal, from the NHRA stage at PRI in Indianapolis. “This has been a dream since I started racing Junior Dragsters and bracket cars. I have always owned my race cars and when the opportunity came to buy Buddy’s race car, I jumped on it and to also be able to work with Mike Guger is awesome. I have been lucky to have great mentors and supporters going back to Fred Spell Jr. when I was just getting started.”
INDIANAPOLIS – Red Line Synthetic Oil, a leading manufacturer of engine oils and lubricants, will serve as the series title sponsor of the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) for the 2024 season and beyond, the series announced today during a press conference at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show. The multi-year partnership makes Red Line Oil the first series title sponsor in the 10-year history of the all-eighth-mile drag racing series. The 2024 PDRA Red Line Oil Drag Racing Series season will feature eight points-earning races, as well as the fourth annual Summit Racing Equipment PDRA ProStars race.
“This is a huge moment for the PDRA,” said Tommy Franklin, co-owner and co-founder, PDRA. “Since 2014, we’ve been building a reputation as the place to race for Pro Mods, Top Sportsman, Top Dragster, Jr. Dragsters, and more. I always say our racers in the PDRA are the best anywhere. It means a lot to all of us at the PDRA that Mark Beatty and Red Line Oil believe in what we’re doing and wanted to get more involved with the series in such a big way. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the next 10 years of the PDRA.”
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Mooresville Dragway has reached a multi-year sanction agreement with the World Drag Racing Alliance (WDRA) and becomes the seventh track to join the thriving WDRA member track family within the last three weeks.
With a rich history dating back to the 1960s, the former NHRA-sanctioned North Carolina facility was purchased by Eric Yost and Robert Buker ahead of the 2023 race season. As both a racer and a chassis builder, Yost understands each side of the equation when it comes to a successful racing program. His drag racing and street performance shop, Customs by Bigun, is also located in Mooresville and has produced championship-claiming customers in multiple notable events and drag-and-drive races.
“We welcome Eric, Robert, and the Mooresville team to the WDRA family,” said Josh Peake with WDRA. “Eric has a high business acumen and decades of proven business success in our industry, which will be a great benefit to the Alliance. His passion for our sport is obvious and we are looking forward to having him work with the six other tracks in our Carolina member track family.”
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Top Fuel driver Buddy Hull will be getting back to his front engine roots following the announcement today by Jim Dunn Racing at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show that he will be the new Funny Car driver for the legendary team. Hull will climb into a Funny Car that qualified for every race under the tuning expertise of drag racing legend Jim Dunn and an experienced crew led by his son Jon. In the NHRA Countdown the Jim Dunn Racing Funny Car was especially tough picking up a semifinal finish and three quarterfinal finishes to wrap up the season in tenth place in a very tough Funny Car category. Hull will be behind the wheel for the full 21-race Mission Foods Drag Racing Series.
“We are thrilled to have Buddy as our new Funny Car driver,” said Jon Dunn. “I have had my eye on him for a while. The way he runs his program and his personality will be a great fit for our race team. I can’t wait to get him in the Funny Car and see what we can do together.”
From left Tony Pedregon, Buddy Hull, Jon Dunn, and Johnna Dunn announce Hull as Funny Car driver for Jim Dunn Racing, (photo credit Werner Communications)
Hull has campaigned a Top Fuel dragster since 2021 on a limited schedule. Over the past three seasons he has brought Renegade Race Fuels, Methanol Moonshine, Go Lithium, and a host of other sponsors onboard with Buddy Hull Racing. He has also promoted the North Texas Down Syndrome Foundation as well as a variety of other charitable endeavors with his race program.
PHOENIX – NHRA officials and the Gila River Indian Community are excited to announce that NHRA will return to Phoenix for the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season, heading to the newly-renamed Firebird Motorsports Park for the 39th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals on April 5-7 and continuing the great history of NHRA drag racing at the track.
Ticket renewals for the “Duel in the Desert” are now available for fans and tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, Dec. 11. Officials from the facility announced the new Firebird Motorsports Park name on Thursday at the PRI Show, which references back to the original Firebird International Raceway from when the track opened 40 years ago and joins its past with its future.
After an outpouring of support from the racing community in the Phoenix area with a message of wanting to see NHRA championship drag racing remain at the longtime facility, the Gila River Indian Community was proactive in its efforts to make it happen, reimagining racing at Firebird Motorsports Park.