BUDDY HULL SUPERCHARGED
WHAT THE "HALE" HAPPENED
First, I would like to thank John Hale for his time. What a great guy to talk with! I hope each and every one of you enjoy this Q&A with John and grasp how such a small thing can turn into such a big deal. Not to mention, how just one trip to a drag strip could change someone's life. Just like it changed John's! Enjoy!
Q: What happened last weekend in Sonoma?
A: Jeff and I moved the cars into the beams and switched the pumps to the high side. The tree flashed two red lights, neither one of us left on that command of course. At that point the tower switched the tree back to auto mode to reset the tree and timers. Doing this caused the tree and timing system to change to ¼ mile mode and flash amber. That's when things took a turn for the worst... we both left! As I was sitting there I had thoughts of shutting the car off but I knew if I did that I would forfeit the run. The right thing for NHRA to do was to have us shut the cars down to reset all timers and verify the tree was working correctly. NHRA's final ruling to the error was a "power surge".
Photo Courtesy of John Hale Racing - photo by Jeff Burghardt
Q: How did NHRA Respond?
A: Plueger and Trabue went to the tower to sort things out and get an explanation. Plueger also asked to make another run in attempt to qualify. NHRA's response was "No".
Q: I heard that John Force got involved, is that true?
A: Plueger took race pack download to Prock (John Force's Crew Chief). He took a look at the numbers and said it was a 4.17 to 4.20 run. Force then went to the tower alone the info to show NHRA the run was more than enough to get the car in the show. Note: The bump was 6.20. We ran some 4.40s on Friday, but it wasn’t enough to qualify me in the top 12 and only the top 12 get in on Friday.
Q: Was Plueger upset?
A: He was calm throughout the debacle. He always tries to do the right thing and he feels NHRA didn't. All he wanted was another run.
Q: Were you upset?
A: I stayed out of the tower. I knew I might loose my temper and say some things I may regret. I wasn't going to beat my self up for something I knew I couldn't change. All these crew guys that work so hard on that car. I felt bad for them more than anything else.
Q: How much money does it cost to make a run in a Big Show Funny Car?
A: It cost roughly $5,000 to make the pass that did not count!
Q: What are your plans in Nostalgia Funny Car for the rest of the 2014 season?
A: We want to finish this season STRONG. We are on the road right now headed to the IHRA Nitro Jam in Pittsburgh with full intention of winning. After that we head to Memphis for another Nitro Jam. We want to do well in Memphis also. Last but not least, to the California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield. My favorite! We do well there and are defending our title from 2013. We won in 2011 and 2013 and feel we have a great shot to win in 2014. There will be 30+ of the best Nostalgia Nitro Funny Cars there to compete against. It's always a tough field.
Q: Who do you like racing?
A: There are two guys. Paul Romine and Jason Rupert. I like beating both of them.
Q: What got you interested in driving a funny car?
A: It all started when I saw Del Worsham drive the Blue Max car in Dallas in 2007. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! In 2009 I purchased a car from Virgil Hartman and made the car NHRA Heritage legal by changing the body, pump, blower, and magneto.
Q: How long have you been driving a Nostalgia Funny Car?
A: I finished my license in 2010. It was tough to get my license. We were getting hammered with rain down in Texas. So we loaded up and went to Tucson to get my license on the way to Bakersfield. Nothing like waiting until the last minute! We ran a 5.90 and qualified at my first event in Bakersfield.
Q: Nostalgia or Big Show?
A: Nothing like making a pass in Big Show Funny Car.
Q: The people in Nostalgia or Big show?
A: The crew guys in both are outstanding! Driving the big show funny car is a lot more pressure. Driving the Nostalgia Funny car is less pressure. Overall I enjoy Nostalgia racing more.
Q: Anything you would like to add?
A: I love the fans and friends I have been able to meet around the United States. They are family to me. As a matter a fact, I met Justin Wilson in Cordova. Justin is now on my crew and he also served as a US Marine. A big thanks to all my freinds, family, and fans! Thank you!
"The Run" 2014 Sonoma California Hale vs Diehl: watch VIDEO here
John Hale at the IHRA Summer Nationals at Cordova Dragway Park - Mike Sopko Sr. photo QuarterMileClassics.com
Buddy Hull with John Hale
TOP OF PAGE
ATTENTION IN THE PITS
Attention in the pits! I'm not a writer or journalist I'm a drag racer who loves to talk about the people of drag racing. I am excited to contribute to the sport in this way. It is so important that driver's, tuner's, crew's, and event organizer's stories are told. It will be an honor to tell them through this blog.
Over the last few days I have been thinking of topics and people to talk about and I came to a brief conclusion. I am going to talk about the good, the bad, the ugly, the legends, and the legends in the making. At this point in time my number one priority is to reach out to all the legends and get them talking. There are so many pioneers in this sport that everyone needs to know about. It is my mission is to dig them up like "old barn finds" and interview them. So, if any of you reading this want to share some stories with the Drag Racing world please reach out to me. I'll talk to anyone.... just ask my friends and family! Be sure to check back weekly for my Q and A's.
I will end with a brief hint of who I will be interviewing this coming week. Here it is. NITROMETHANE!
Have fun, stay safe, and go fast!
Nostalgia Drag World - by Buddy Hull
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