, photo by Ron Lewis Photography

The final running of the NHRA Arizona Nationals was Buddy Hull and his Methanol Moonshine Top Fuel dragster’s first race of the season. The up and coming driver rolled into Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park looking to give his new crew chief and new team some experience and also feel the rush of racing an 12,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragster at the highest level of the NHRA. With the backing of new sponsor Methanol Moonshine as well as Renegade Fuels, Go Lithium, and local backing from Camelback Ford and Chompie’s restaurant Hull and his team made three solid runs in qualifying and entered race day as the No. 13 qualifier.

“We got a lot of things out of the way that we needed to get out of the way to move forward and we got some data from the car and (crew chief) Mike Guger knocked the dust off,” said Hull. “He hasn’t been out here for a few years so for Mike to get out here and start looking at the computer again, turn the knobs and getting comfortable with the car was a huge deal. For all the crew guys it’s the first time we’ve been to the track this year together and they had to get their hands back on the car and get back into rhythm as well. This race really did a great job of preparing us for Las Vegas and we’re excited to get there.”

In the final qualifying session Hull destroyed an engine block when he dropped a cylinder on his last run. The destruction forced Hull to go deep into his parts inventory and work well into the night to get ready for a first round race with veteran Leah Pruett from Tony Stewart Racing. The team reassembled the race car and before the race today they realized they needed some additional parts. Luckily, some of their competitors stepped up to support the team.

“We would not have made it to the starting line if the Parts Plus guys, Jim Oberhofer and Clay Millican wouldn’t have allowed us to borrow an injector hat,” said Hull. “We didn’t realize until we fired the car this morning that our injector hat had a crack in it from yesterday’s explosion. Without them we wouldn’t have made it to the start of it. (Funny Car driver and team owner) Chad Green, brought over a valve cover so between all those guys we were able to make it to the starting line.”

In the first round Hull uncharacteristically redlit versus Pruett handing her an easy round win. It was the first time Hull “double stepped” his race car in competition. The mental mistake was something Hull admitted he had seen other drivers experience but never himself.

“I knew the lights were a little long here once you got staged and that is no excuse,” said Hull. “I staged and then had to wait like everybody and my foot just decided to go and my head was saying ‘Stop!’ but it was too late. This was the first race and I will be ready to get back in this Methanol Moonshine Top Fuel dragster in a couple weeks in Las Vegas.”

Hull will be racing a limited schedule but feels that the level of support and acceptance he has already received is critical to his team’s continued success. The team will be back in action at the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals in two weeks looking for more round wins and more interaction with the fans.

“Getting the support from other teams and the fans means everything. I hear a lot of people saying, ‘Don’t quit We love having you out here. We need you out here all the time.’ I think I heard that I don’t know a thousand times this weekend,” summed up Hull. 

Qualifying Results

Q1: 7.326 sec, 96.38 mph; Qual. 14

Q2: 6.484 sec; 94.33 mph; Qual. 15

Q3: 3.899 sec; 284.62 mph; Qual, 13

Bonus Points: 0

Race Results

First Round

Leah Pruett, Dodge Power Broker dragster, 3.729, 331.04 mph def.  Buddy Hull, Methanol Moonshine dragster, DQ-redlight

Elon Werner PR

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