Funny Car owner and driver Paul Lee has announced that Dustin Heim and Jason Bunker will share the tuning duties of his McLeod Dodge. Bunker was recently added and will start working immediately with Heim and the rest of the team at their shop in Brownsburg, Ind. Lee skipped the recent Las Vegas event as he looked to give his team a fresh start.
Bunker, a Northern California native, has a passion that should complement the entire team. He has been involved with drag racing since he was a teenager and has prior experience in Pro Modified, Nostalgia Funny Car, nitro Funny Car, and Top Fuel.
“I am very excited to be joining Paul Lee’s team,” Bunker said. “The opportunity to be fully involved with a nitro Funny Car team in Indy was the perfect next step for me and my family. Taking a look at the equipment that Paul has purchased over the last couple of years, this team has all the potential to run with the top Funny Car teams in this sport. To work with Dustin is going to be a really great time, and we both can’t wait to hit the track in Houston.”
Lee recognized the need to develop new young talent in the crew chief position as the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series continues to grow. The addition of several new teams this year has placed a premium on qualified crew chiefs and crewmembers.
“I’m certainly ready for a fresh start to the 2022 NHRA season,” Lee said. “Having Jason join Dustin as co-crew chiefs and replacing some key crewmembers with those two in charge will give our team a new look and exciting new future. I’m looking forward to Houston and giving our loyal fans and marketing partners something to cheer for. We plan to go to race and race hard. I can’t wait to see our new team in action.”
Given the recent development, Lee believes it would be appropriate to have a complete fresh start in Houston, so he’s unveiling a new color scheme for the McLeod Dodge.
“We’re not only starting fresh as a team, but starting fresh with an exciting new wrap, scheme, and new starting-line shirts as well,” Lee said. “We will include a ‘phoenix’ on the hood of the car that represents a ‘new beginning rising from the ashes with renewed youth’ for our team. I can’t wait for everyone in Houston to see the new car.”
Competing in just three events this season, Lee is currently ranked No. 16 in the NHRA Camping World standings, yet he is just 90 points out of a spot in the Top 10 with 18 races remaining in the season and 12 before the start of the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.