Blake Alexander will not race with Bob Vandergriff Racing in 2019. The 30-year-old Top Fuel racer joined the team in 2018 and immediately found success by winning twice in the Pronto Auto Services dragster.
Jordan Vandergriff, Bob Vandergriff’s nephew, worked on the dragster and drove in the Top Alcohol category in 2018 and will race for the team in Top Fuel in 2019. He will do so alone as Alexander moves on to an unnamed Top Fuel team. BVR retained Ron Douglas and hired Joe Barlam from Don Schumacher Racing in anticipation of running two dragsters in the upcoming season.
That will not come to fruition. Jordan Vandergriff looks like a promising Nitro prospect after performing well in the Top Alcohol ranks, but losing Alexander is a serious blow to a team that wowed fans in 2018. Alexander won in Norwalk and Sonoma and brings with him a bushel of sponsors and round wins. He had more points per event entered than a handful of touring pros — something that made him a hot commodity.
Alexander confirmed he left BVR on Sunday afternoon but did not offer any further comment. Team owner Bob Vandergriff spoke to CompetitonPlus.com and said he heard from Alexander on Friday.
“I was on the way to pick up my daughter from the airport (on Friday, Dec. 21) as she was coming in to visit for Christmas and I got a phone call from Blake and all he said was, ‘Hey I’m going to go in a different direction in 2019 and I just wanted you to know,’” said Vandergriff. “I said, okay, and I hung up. At that point, I wasn’t planning on discussing anything. If that were his intentions and his mindset, my philosophy has always been if you don’t want to be with us then you need to go, so off he goes.”
Alexander will reveal his new team when he is able to. Keep your eyes on NHRA.com for the latest.