For most of the drivers on the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour, a trip to Seattle is a trip far from home, to the furthest northwest reaches of the country, but for Shawn Reed it’s home.
After a two-month hiatus from the cockpit, Reed will saddle up this weekend in his Bob Vandergriff Racing-prepped Hughes Oilfield Transportation entry for his fourth outing of the year and his first since the Chicago event in early June.
Reed, who hails from Lake Tapps, Wash., just 15 miles south of Pacific Raceways, has been staying busy, working at his road-building business and helping mentor and support rookie Jordan Vandergriff’s effort.
"In Denver, I did the fuel and other stuff while he signed autographs,” Reed said with a laugh. “This weekend he’s going to help me out.”
Vandergriff is doing more than that; it’s his chassis, wrapped in Reed’s body panels, that Reed will be running this weekend, a dragster fully capable of winning the event and with the sole attention of crew chiefs Ron Douglas and Joe Barlam. With Vandergriff behind the wheel, it ranks fourth in NHRA’s Power Rankings in complete runs down the track.
Reed’s best outing this year came in his own car, in Atlanta, where he went to the semifinals before losing on a holeshot to Steve Torrence.
“I ran a 3.85 to his .86 and he beat me by about a half-foot,” he said. “We had the best e.t. of the semifinals but lost. That car is going to be good when I get back into it, but I’m excited for this weekend. We’ve seen how good Jordan’s car is and with the regular crew here, it should be good.
“I’ve got 45-50 people --- friends and family – coming tomorrow to watch me race, so I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I was driving a dump truck yesterday hauling rock and went into the office this morning before coming out here, which is cool. It's good to be close to home.”