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Buddy Hull Excited for New England Nationals

Buddy Hull and his Blaze Exhaust Probes Dodge Funny Car power down the track at the NHRA New England Nationals on Friday.

Buddy Hull makes a pass during Round Two of NHRA Funny Car qualifying on Friday evening at New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire. (Photo: Allen Saucier | The Podium Finish)

EPPING, N.H. – Buddy Hull is learning a lot in his first season behind the wheel of an NHRA Funny Car, and he enters this weekend’s New England Nationals in Epping, New Hampshire, with his sights set on a successful outing.

With NHRA legend Big Jim Dunn as his team owner and tuner, it is no surprise that Hull has adjusted quickly in his transition from Top Fuel to Funny Car.

“It’s an honor to race for him,” Hull said. “The last few years, a lot of the people I looked up to growing up, I’ve watched pass away. It’s really sad.

“But Jim is a tough old bird. He’s 90 years old and he’s still out here tuning his car and watching it go down the racetrack. I am really fortunate to get to drive for him and learn from him. And we get along really good, so that helps too.”

He said the team has been taking baby steps forward, but he expects those to turn into more significant strides as the season progresses. Hull’s only previous visit to Epping came in 2021, his rookie season competing in Top Fuel. This will be his first visit behind the wheel of a Funny Car.

Buddy Hull Looking for Steady Improvement in Epping

The results so far this season have not been exactly what Hull and Dunn hoped, but Hull acknowledged that with so many new things, including their partnership, there have been some growing pains. Despite that, however, the team is growing in the right direction.

“We know we have a good race car,” Hull said. “We put a bunch of new parts into the car this year to be quicker and faster. We’ve made a few good, solid runs and we’ve got some of that data to go off. It’s like anything though, when you make changes, there is going to be a time period of learning and growth.”

Hull was excited about the conditions in Epping on Saturday, thinking that he and the team had an opportunity to put down some good qualifying numbers. However, he spun the tires in his first qualifying attempt, and in the second, he was racing a good pass when the car drifted across the centerline, disqualifying his run.

He and the Jim Dunn Racing team will be back at it on Saturday, looking to put their best foot forward in the final two rounds of qualifying ahead of race day. With 16 Funny Cars at the track, Hull will be guaranteed a spot, but he wants to be as high on the ladder as possible.

Buddy Hull enters day two of qualifying for the NHRA New England Nationals looking to improve on his provisional No. 14 starting spot.

Buddy Hull prepares for a qualifying run in his Blaze Exhaust Probes Dodge at this weekend’s NHRA New England Nationals. (Photo: Allen Saucier | The Podium Finish)

Consistency is the Key to… Consistency for Buddy Hull and Team

As Hull and the Jim Dunn Racing team work to find more consistency on the track, he said that one thing that has not changed in his transition from Top Fuel to Funny Car, is how he prepares for a run.

“I use the same approach,” he said of the transition. “I’ve been to roughly 45 to 50 racetracks in my life, so I always treat things the same way. When I lock into the car, I have a routine I go through. I treat every track, every race, the same. As far as the driver goes, unless my crew chief tells me to do something different, I’m doing the same thing.”

According to Hull, the next step will be to find the performance consistency, and once the team finds that, the results will just keep getting better. He said that coming to Epping, where the conditions are expected to be good all weekend, gives the team a chance to show what it is capable of.

“We are continuously moving the needle in the right direction, working out the kinks with some new parts and making adjustments based on the data,” he said in a team press release. “We’re going to keep attempting to make A to B runs, while putting on a good show for the fans. When I was in Epping three years ago, the fans were incredible.”

Qualifying Show Two at New England Dragway will air on Fox Sports 1 at 7:00 PM EST on Saturday, June 1.

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