It’s probably a bit premature to anoint Dallas Glenn as the next big thing in the NHRA Pro Stock class, but it’s also hard to argue that after just 12 runs in a Pro Stock car, he hasn’t already made an overwhelmingly positive first impression. Glenn is a longtime crewmember on the KB Racing team, and he’s also got an extensive résumé as a driver that includes the Super Gas title at the 2011 Las Vegas event, three NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series victories, and a host of wins in big-money bracket events.
Glenn has also driven a wide variety of race cars in his career, but he’s got no trouble admitting that nothing he’s done to this point adequately prepared him for the sensation he experienced the first time he dumped the clutch on a six-second Pro Stock car. Glenn earned his Pro Stock license just over a week ago during the Doorslammer Nationals event in Orlando, Fla., with an eye towards his Professional debut this weekend in Gainesville.
“So far, I’ve made 12 runs, and six of those are full runs,” said Glenn. “I did run a 6.512, which was really good for the conditions, and if I could have made a couple more runs, I think I could have run in the 6.4s. These cars are very different to drive than anything I’ve been in before, but I already feel fairly comfortable. Thankfully, I’m part of a great team here at KB Racing, and I think that helps make it a bit easier.”
The opportunity to join the Pro Stock class stemmed from a couple of conversations Glenn had with prospective sponsors during last year’s season-ending Dodge NHRA Finals event in Las Vegas. With the KB Racing fleet reduced by one entry following Jason Line’s departure from the class, the timing couldn’t have been better for Glenn.
“This whole deal started in Las Vegas when I had a talk with Shane Thompson, of Silver State Plumbing,” said Glenn. “He told me if I wanted to run a couple of races, he’d help out, and it sort of grew from there. When Rad Torque Systems came on board, we came up with a proposal, and it all came together fairly quickly after that. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get a shot to do this, but I’m glad it’s finally happening. We have a burnout car at KB that we use to break in tires. I’ve driven that car quite a bit, and we’ve also got a practice simulator. Those things were a big help.”
Simulators can be helpful, but there is no substitute for real-world experience, and Glenn learned that as soon as he jumped in the KB Camaro to upgrade his NHRA competition license.
“I’ve worked on these cars for a while, and I thought I knew what it would be like to drive one, but it’s a bigger challenge than I imagined,” said Glenn. "I think the biggest surprise was how hard the chutes hit. I made one run where I shut off at 1,000 feet and hit the button for the chutes. When they hit, it really got my attention. Other than that, I don’t think anything really surprised me, but things do happen quickly in there.”
What impressed his peers the most about Glenn’s debut was his reaction times, which were initially a bit too quick. He red-lighted the first few times he let the clutch out, but quickly made the necessary adjustments and then reeled off a string of consistent .01-second lights. For most drivers, it takes a lot of runs to establish that sort of consistency, and quite frankly, some drivers never get there. Glenn’s competitive reaction times have helped build his confidence to the point where he believes he can jump straight into the deep end of what many believe is drag racing’s most competitive class.
Glenn joins a Pro Stock class in transition with the departure of Line, Bo Butner, and Jeg Coughlin offset by the arrival of young guns Troy Coughlin Jr., Mason McGaha, Kyle Koretsky, Aaron Stanfield, and brothers Cristian and Fernando Cuadra Jr. Glenn, 30, fits that demographic and figures to fit in nicely as the class progresses to a younger demographic.
“We’ll see how it goes, but I think I’m about as prepared as I can be given the circumstances,” Glenn said. “I’ve done a good bit of Pro Tree racing in the past, just not with a clutch pedal. Right now, the plan is to do about four races, but that could always change depending on how things go. I’d like to be Rookie of the Year, and you need five races to be eligible, but you really need to run a full season in order to win it. My goal is to just do the best job I can whenever we get to race and see what happens after that.”