because you want to SEE it


CHANDLER, AZ – Some race weekends serve as lessons more than others. For this year’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird Motorsports Park, the lesson for Funny Car driver Buddy Hull is ‘it’s not how you start, but it’s how you finish.’

The driver for Jim Dunn Racing started race day from the No. 16 spot, which is a challenge that Hull is not one to stray away from. In round one, he was set to run against No. 1 qualifier and recent Funny Car standout, Austin Prock. With close reaction times, Hull was ahead of Prock at the 330-foot mark. The tide turned by the end of the race, but Hull was still proud that he didn’t give Prock an easy win. Prock would go on to win his first Funny Car national event outrunning Alexis DeJoria in the final round.

“We both left, and even though I didn’t see him, I heard him pedal the car two times. It’s this thing that you feel when you’re in the car, you actually feel it more than you hear it,” said Hull. “And then we struck the tires and knocked the tire off at probably 450-500 feet, somewhere in that range. Next thing, he comes by me, and I heard him pedal it one more time, and maybe even one more time after that. So when I saw him out in front of me that far, I wasn’t going to pedal it again. I’m not going to blow up our race car.

There was really no chance of catching him, even though it looked like we had a chance in the beginning. When you see a car three or four car lengths in front of you, and you’re off the pedal because you smoked the tires, you have to have better judgment and know that your chances of catching him are pretty low unless he smokes the tires again too. Prock won this time, but I know we’ll get him back sometime soon.”

Firebird Motorsports Park holds a lot of fond memories for Hull, who first competed at this track in the Top Fuel class. He was excited to make a return to Phoenix, when it looked like it would be off the NHRA calendar after last season.

“This is one of my favorite tracks to come to. The fans here are very loyal to this racetrack,” said Hull. “And there’s so many kids out here, which I love. A couple of parents came by our pits with their kids to take their annual picture with me. We’re now three years in of taking pictures with the same kids, so it’s just the coolest. I love the idea that parents can look back at our yearly photos and literally watch their kid grow up in the process. And next year I’ll have my kid out here too, which is crazy to think about.”

Another positive from the weekend was having sponsor USD out at the track experiencing a sold out crowd. And thanks to local sponsor Chompie’s, there was delicious food in the pits for the team and guests throughout the weekend.

“There were all kinds of people out from USD, and we had a great time. They were thrilled with our performance in the first round, which was reassuring as the driver representing their organization that’s literally on the side of our race car,” said Hull. “It’s always a priority for me to make sure our sponsors are taken care of when they take the time to come out to the track. And it helps when the race itself delivers such a fantastic fan experience.”

Hull and the Jim Dunn Racing team will be back in competition next weekend at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 12-14 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. There will be one qualifying session on Friday, April 12 and two qualifying sessions on Saturday, April 13. For tickets or more information on the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals visit

Qualifying Results
Q1: 4.158 sec, 260.31 mph; Qual. 11
Q2: No run; Qual. 15
Q3: 4.954 sec, 160.92 mph; Qual. 16
Bonus Points: 0

Race Results
First Round
Austin Prock, Danville, Ind., Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro SS, (.077), 4.398, 277.83 mph def. Buddy Hull, Dallas, Tex., USD Dodge Charger, (.090), 4.673, 184.80 mph

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