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Drag Illustrated

Mike Carpenter Named COO of Drag Illustrated

FT. WORTH, TX – Mike Carpenter, a member of the Drag Illustrated team for 15 years, has been named the company’s chief operating officer (COO), the magazine announced today. While overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company’s efforts across print and digital platforms, Carpenter will also continue his role as the design & production director for the magazine.

“Mike Carpenter has been an invaluable part of this team since he joined us in 2007,” said Wes Buck, founder and editorial director, Drag Illustrated. “His role has expanded tremendously over the course of the last decade-and-a-half, and it is no surprise to see him move into the role of Chief Operating Officer at Drag Illustrated Media. As our business continues to grow and expand, it’s important to have people that share our vision for the company and for the sport of drag racing in influential positions – especially someone as dedicated and experienced in high-level execution and operation as Mike Carpenter.”

Carpenter started working with Buck and the Drag Illustrated team as a freelance graphic designer in 2007, just a year after graduating from UNC Charlotte with a graphic design degree. His first full story layout appeared in DI #17. He’s since worked his way up to handling the layout of the entire magazine from cover to cover. Under Carpenter’s direction, Drag Illustrated recently sent its 176th print issue to press.

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NHRA Pro Mod Star Lyle Barnett Appears on Cover of Drag Illustrated’s Annual ‘Trending Issue’

FT. WORTH, TX – After an incredible finish to his rookie season in the NHRA Pro Mod ranks, Lyle Barnett appears on the brink of even bigger things for the 2022 campaign.

Barnett closed his debut Pro Mod season with a pair of victories over the final three races in 2021, putting an even bigger spotlight on the fan favorite driver.

His fan base continues to grow at a rapid rate, making him a must-see personality for the 2022 season and enabling him to earn a spot on the cover of Drag Illustrated’s annual “Trending Issue.” The cover headline on the issue states Barnett’s “Time is Now” and the standout was overwhelmed to see his image on the cover of Drag Illustrated for the first time.

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Drag Illustrated Announces Inaugural DI Awards, Racer of the Year Honor & Hall of Fame

FT. WORTH, TX – Drag Illustrated will honor 2021’s most outstanding racers, tuners, promoters, moments and more when it unveils the winners of the inaugural DI Awards on Thursday, February 3, 2022. The winners will be revealed on the DI Awards show streamed live on the Drag Illustrated Facebook and YouTube pages at 6:30 p.m. Central. The winners will also be featured in the new Racer of the Year Issue launching in early February.

“I’ve labored over this for a long time and spoken about it a lot, but it’s worth repeating: drag racing is hard,” said Wes Buck, founder and editorial director, Drag Illustrated. “This is an extremely competitive sport with some of the highest of highs and lowest of lows – sometimes coming in the same weekend. You don’t see ‘undefeated’ drag racers. This is a sport where losing is simply part of the game, it’s part of the journey, and, honestly, I think that is why this community is full of such incredible human beings…because that’s what this sport, this level of competition, oftentimes produces.

“All that said, the hustle-and-grind of drag racing being such a well-known thing,” Buck continued, “we felt it was important that we do everything we can to honor and validate that effort – that’s what the Drag Illustrated Awards are all about.”

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Drag Illustrated Releases 2021 30 Under 30 Issue Ahead of PRI Show

FT. WORTH, TX – The 2021 Drag Illustrated 30 Under 30 issue, which highlights rising stars across different roles in drag racing, is now available in digital form, Drag Illustrated announced today. Print copies will hit subscriber mailboxes starting this week. Copies will also be available at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show, Dec. 9-11.

The 30 honorees who appear on the 2021 DI 30 Under 30 list will be celebrated at a special press conference at the PRI Show in the PRI Press Conference Center on Friday, Dec. 10 at 1:30 p.m. ET.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to kick off an exciting PRI Show week than to release our sixth 30 Under 30 list and issue,” said Nate Van Wagnen, editor-in-chief, Drag Illustrated. “This is one of our most important issues of the year because it focuses on the next generation of drivers, tuners, crew members, fabricators, content creators and officials that will help carry this industry forward. We’re proud to celebrate these 30 young people on the pages of the magazine and in person at the PRI Show on Friday.”

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Drag Illustrated After Hours Powered by Titan Racing Engines Returns During 2021 PRI Show

FORT WORTH, TX – Drag Illustrated After Hours Powered by Titan Racing Engines, a party hosted by Drag Illustrated magazine during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show week, is returning this year after a hiatus in 2020, the magazine announced today. With new support from Titan Racing Engines, the party will take over INVY Nightclub on Thursday, Dec. 9.

“I can hardly describe how stoked we are to not only get back to having the party but get back to PRI in general,” said J.T. Hudson, vice president of business development and client relations, Drag Illustrated. “It’s always fun to talk and chum it up with friends and partners. It’s so amazing the relationships that are formed from this awesome sport. We couldn’t be more excited about the party.”

While INVY hosted DI After Hours in 2019, the club went under new ownership shortly after the party. The new owner, Jason Jenkins, made sweeping changes to the venue’s layout and staff. Jenkins, who also owns other popular nightclubs in Indianapolis, promises an improved party experience.

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Drag Illustrated Now Accepting Nominations For 2021 30 Under 30 List 

FORT WORTH, TX – Nominations are now being accepted for Drag Illustrated’s 2021 30 Under 30 list, the magazine announced today. The list, which highlights drag racing’s most accomplished and promising young ambassadors, is returning for its sixth year after a hiatus in 2020. The 30 Under 30 honorees will appear in Drag Illustrated’s annual Tomorrow Issue. The 30 Under 30 nomination period will run through Friday, Oct. 29.

The honorees will also be recognized at a special press conference during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show at the Indiana Convention Center, Dec. 9-11 in Indianapolis.

“We’re so excited to bring the 30 Under 30 list back this fall,” said Nate Van Wagnen, editor-in-chief, Drag Illustrated. “It was hard to not do the list last year, but we didn’t think it was right to select an entire class of honorees and not be able to provide the full 30 Under 30 experience, which includes the issue unveiling at the PRI Show. We can’t wait to get to work on this issue and shine a light on all the incredibly talented young people in the sport.”

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Drag Illustrated’s The Wes Buck Show Sets Stage at Texas Motorplex During Week-Long Stampede of Speed Festival

FORT WORTH – The Wes Buck Show will make its first visit to Ennis, Texas, this week, live from the legendary Texas Motorplex on Wednesday, October 6 (2-5 p.m. CT) during the inaugural Texas Stampede of Speed leading up to the NHRA Fall Nationals.

The three-hour drag racing news and talk show will air on YouTube and Facebook, highlighting key storylines and offering news, analysis and predictions ahead of the third of six NHRA Countdown to the Championship events outside Dallas. The Wes Buck Show will broadcast live from the newly remodeled tower and luxury suites at the Texas Motorplex, capturing the environment during what is being heralded as the richest week in drag racing.

The show is hosted by DRAG ILLUSTRATED founder Wes Buck, with supporting commentary from Mike Carpenter and JT Hudson.

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Gaylon Rolison and Britt Cummings Grace Cover of Drag Illustrated’s 11th Annual “Sportsman Issue”

FORT WORTH – Promoters Gaylon Rolison and Britt Cummings have turned into an impressive promoting duo, combining to put together some of drag racing’s biggest bracket races, showing immense dedication in their quest to push the sport forward.

They’ve carved out a strong place in the sportsman world, with racers praising their ability to put on an exciting, well-run race. Rolison and Cummings have also put together one of the sport’s biggest prizes at the Great American Guaranteed Million, becoming one of the biggest success stories in drag racing and earning their spot on the cover of Drag Illustrated’s 11th annual “Sportsman Issue.”

“It is an honor to grace a magazine that brings focus to the world of drag racing and bracket racing,” Rolison said. “Britt and I know in our heart of hearts none of this would be possible without the support of the racing community and the team that surrounds us. Thank you again Drag Illustrated.”

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Latest Episode of The Wes Buck Show Features Guests Matt Hagan, Alex Laughlin and Chris “Boosted” Hamilton

FORT WORTH, TX – Another marquee edition of “The Wes Buck Show” is on deck with a trio of racing stars set for the latest episode. Airing live at 2 p.m. CT on Facebook and YouTube, this week’s show will feature reigning Funny Car world champ Matt Hagan, Top Fuel newcomer and drag racing’s ultimate utility man, Alex Laughlin, and Chris “Boosted” Hamilton, the race master for Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings.

Hosted by Drag Illustrated Founder and Editorial Director Wes Buck, the show is also available in podcast form on iTunes and continues to be a huge hit among racing fans. Joined by co-hosts Mike Carpenter, the Drag Illustrated COO, and J.T. Hudson, “The Wes Buck Show” explores all things drag racing, featuring interviews with the biggest names in drag racing, technical segments with top-level tuners and crew chiefs and much more.

“Between Alex Laughlin’s much talked about move to Top Fuel, the absolute tear that Matt Hagan has been on lately and Chris Hamilton being at the absolute center of drag racing’s hottest property in 2021 — No Prep Kings — it’s hard to imagine this week’s show won’t be an absolute barnburner,” Buck said.

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New Episode of The Wes Buck Show Features All-Star Lineup of Guests in John Force, Stevie Jackson and Mike Murillo

FORT WORTH, TX – Boasting an impressive guest list of some of the biggest names in the sport, the latest edition of “The Wes Buck Show” promises to be a can’t-miss episode, as legendary Funny Car driver John Force, Pro Mod champ Stevie Jackson and No Prep Kings star Mike Murillo will all join the program.

The show, hosted by Drag Illustrated Founder and Editorial Director Wes Buck, airs live each Wednesday at 2 p.m. CT on Facebook and YouTube, and is also available in podcast form on iTunes. Along with co-hosts Mike Carpenter, the Drag Illustrated COO, and J.T. Hudson, “The Wes Buck Show” explores all things drag racing, featuring interviews with the biggest names in drag racing, technical segments with top-level tuners and crew chiefs and much more.

“We’re really excited to flex our muscles this week on The Wes Buck Show. We’ve prided ourselves on having unparalleled access to the biggest names in racing and there’s no better proof of that than this week’s show with John Force, Stevie Jackson and Mike Murillo,” Buck said. “We’re committed to painting a wide swath and this show represents an opportunity to talk Funny Car racing, but also the NHRA Pro Mod and the No Prep Kings scenes, and everything in between.”

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