Doug Foley will renew his Top Fuel license eight years after last competing in Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing competition.
The veteran racer returned to Lucas Oil Sportsman competition in 2018 as a Top Alcohol driver and partnered with Tim Lewis to get back to the top series of NHRA drag racing at the NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals.
The dragster will be driven by another veteran drag racer, Todd Paton, who has competed at a handful of events in 2019. Foley will follow that up by making licensing runs during Monday testing at zMAX Dragway.
“We’re excited to be back out there,” said Foley, who last drove a Top Fuel dragster in 2011. “It's honestly not an opportunity we ever really thought about. It's not like we sat there for 10 years waiting to go Top Fuel racing again. It was just something that we discussed early this year, and we’ve worked since then to get a program together. We've had a lot of great fans through the years and we’re excited to see them starting in Charlotte and next season.
“Really, I think there were two reasons why we decided to go Top Fuel racing. The main reason is we were scheduled for 16 races [in Top Alcohol Dragster] and there was no way work was going to allow me to go to 16 races. My professional life was just pretty busy. Secondly, the opportunity came along for me to discuss going back to Top Fuel racing in February, so we discussed it for a couple months and made the decision in May that we're going to do it.”
Scott Gaddy converted the Don Schumacher Racing-built chassis back to a Top Fuel dragster and Richard Hartman made chassis updates ahead of the 21st event on the Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series calendar. This is the only event on the Foley Lewis Racing schedule in 2019, though the team plans to compete on a part-time schedule in 2020.
“Tim and I really appreciate Scott's effort over the last several months,” Foley said. “He’s spent countless hours in the shop and we wouldn't be ready if it weren't for the time and effort he’s invested.”
“Knowing that we're 15 miles from the track, it just made a lot of sense to find a way to enter this race. It's not that easy to get a quality track surface. For us, getting some runs on the car and shaking everything down was more important than anything. We can get some data and figure out the car during the weekend. After my runs we'll have half a dozen runs or more on the car. That will allow us to build towards next year.”