NHRA Top Fuel veteran Doug Foley is rolling into his home race, the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway, with a full list of new and returning sponsors on the Foley Lewis Racing Top Fuel dragster. Kooks Headers & Exhaust, headquartered in nearby Statesville, N.C., will serve as the primary sponsor. Atlantic Bay Mortgage and the Leavitt Group are joining as major associate sponsors.
“It’s always exciting to race in front of local friends and fans,” said Foley, who’s lived in the Charlotte area for over a decade. “Even though the team is now based in Brownsburg, Indiana, I still think of Charlotte as our home track. Our program has evolved and grown since we raced at zMAX last year. We’re still fired up about our final-round appearance at the Gatornationals last month, and we’re hoping for another big weekend racing at home.”
Foley has a long history with Kooks Headers, a race header and exhaust system manufacturer founded in 1965. Foley owned and operated a drag racing school for more than 20 years, and the school’s 130-mph dragsters and 150-mph two-seater dragsters utilized Kooks headers as they made thousands of passes each year.
“For years, Kooks supported the school, and we got the opportunity to really prove the value of their products,” Foley said. “Where most people would make a couple hundred runs per year, in some cases we would do that in a week with the school. It was a testing ground for their products and how they hold up to a tremendous amount of torture. They really served the school well. We didn’t have to worry about servicing and replacing headers all the time because Kooks just builds a great product.”
After selling the racing school business, Foley got into residential real estate development in the Mooresville area. It’s where he developed relationships with the team’s other major sponsors for the weekend, the Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group and the Leavitt Group.
Since 1996, Atlantic Bay has served the East Coast Region with great loan products, customer service, and expertise.
“We’ve been working with Atlantic Bay for over five years, connecting them with home buyers,” Foley said. “They provide a seamless process for home buyers to easily apply online, get approved, and have a smooth closing. In today's home market with changing interest rates, it's especially important to work with a mortgage provider that can help buyers navigate the whole process.”
The Leavitt Group brings national resources to customers through over 115 affiliated independent insurance agencies in the United States. Clients benefit from competitive, sophisticated insurance and risk management solutions.
“We've had a great business-to-business relationship with the Leavitt Group,” Foley said. “We've been able to provide them with some local clients in North Carolina. They offer homeowner’s insurance, business insurance, liability insurance – all types of risk policies. It gives them an ability to cover almost anybody.”
Foley, who skipped the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas after reaching the final round at the Gatornationals in early March, is coming off a No. 13 qualifying effort and first-round exit at the final NHRA SpringNationals at Houston Raceway Park. The Aaron Brooks-led team made improvements after Gainesville, learned from the changes at Houston, and is now ready to take a step forward at Charlotte.
“Just the fact that we went to the finals in Gainesville still feeling like there's quite a bit more performance left in the car gives us a lot of excitement,” Foley said. “We're trying to put this car back in the Top 10 and to continue making runs that will allow us to find that four or five hundredths that we're still looking for.”