Jim Glenn wasn’t planning to run a full schedule in NHRA Super Comp competition, but after winning the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals and then securing a runner-up at the NHRA Arizona Nationals in Phoenix one week later, plans changed. Glenn wisely reconfigured his take on the season and, ultimately, earned his first NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Super Comp championship, along with a handful of major racing accolades.
“We were going bracket racing, and on the way to family vacation, and we stopped at those first two races on the way. After Phoenix, I figured it was time to chase points,” said Glenn. “I’m always all in and overly competitive in everything that I do, but to get two national scores that high – you really have to run a full schedule.”
Throughout the remainder of the spring, Glenn continued to bracket race and gather round-wins at division races in Phoenix and Las Vegas. In April, he locked in a substantial victory at a big-money bracket race that kept the wheels greased and the motivation present, and come summer, Glenn was able to grab a bunch more points towards the Super Comp title with an outstanding performance in Seattle.
Multiple final rounds in a single year at the national level are hard to come by, but Glenn reached three of them in impressive fashion. His heightened comfort level at Pacific Raceways undoubtedly came into play.
“I grew up maybe five minutes from the track and bracket raced there locally,” said Glenn, who claimed the NHRA Northwest Division Super Comp title in 2010. “I’ve been down that track 2,000-3,000 times, so it’s kind of like walking out to your backyard and starting up your dragster.”
Indeed, the Pacific Northwest native was in his zone at the Seattle national, throwing down an 8.901 on the 8.90 index to dispose of his first-round opponent and then mowing through the competition all the way through the quarterfinals, where his victory came with a bye run into the final. Young Dylan Hough claimed the Super Comp trophy and his first national event win that day, but Glenn had already zoomed out to view the big picture. The championship was in plain sight.
In the fall, Glenn – who claimed Division 7 as home this year – traveled to Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield for the doubleheader scheduled just before the Las Vegas national and divisional events. After a dismal outing in the first half of the Bakersfield race, he raised eyebrows across the country as he loaded up the trailer and headed down the road to Sin City.
“When I skipped the back half of the Bakersfield doubleheader, I took a lot of questions as to why I would take my last claim to the toughest race of the year,” said Glenn. “The answer was pretty easy: I always feel alive in Vegas. I have great memories there, and if I was going to win, I wanted it to be on the Vegas stage.”
Glenn’s racing career began 30 years ago, but it has included extensive stretches of time in which he did not compete. Over the course of the previous 26 months, which followed a many-years-long break for Glenn, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway became fuel for his fire. He won the Fall Fling Thursday $100k bracket race there with his ’69 Firebird in 2020 and then the $55k American Dragster Shootout at the Spring Fling Million in 2022.
Coming into the final division race of the season in Las Vegas, Glenn had it on his radar that if he won five rounds, 2017 champion Austin Williams would not be able to catch him. Although there were still others mathematically in the game, Glenn, Williams, and John Labbous Jr. (the 2017 Super Gas champ) were most likely to be crowned. Williams bowed out second round, and Labbous reached the final; however, Glenn clocked out in the semifinals, officially knocking his last remaining challenger out of contention. Glenn stood alone at the top of the points and was crowned the 2022 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series world champion.
“What a weekend. What a year. One of my coolest moments wasn’t even in Super Comp – it was in the NHRA Division 6 Super Quick Series,” said Glenn. “My 17-year-old daughter, Ava, and I ran each other in the semi’s; it was the first time we’ve run in competition, and the kid was throwing down on the Tree all weekend.”
In addition to the Lucas Oil Series Super Comp championship, Glenn also won the six-race Super Quick Series title in Division 6 with two victories in three final rounds.
“Next year, my daughter will be trying to run a full schedule and claiming Division 6, and I’ll be running a full schedule, claiming Division 7 again next year. We’ll try to put on a show,” said Glenn. “This was a year for the ages. Winning the Super Comp world championship was always a dream of mine, and now, it’s a dream come true.”
Glenn thanked his wife and savior, Deanna Glenn; daughter and teammate Ava Glenn; older brother Lenny Glenn, for getting him into racing; his mom, for always giving him confidence; the Barton family and Todd Barton Design for putting the car together when it was purchased a little more than 14 months ago; and all of his racing family that keeps the car going: David Chun, Greg Boutte, Paul Nero, the Richardson family, Les at Figspeed, Dan Foley, Thomas and Gina Bayer, and Wade Archer.
He also thanked Marco Abruzzi and Abruzzi Racing Transmissions and Converters; Robert and Marty of Hoosier Tires West; Kasey Lane Race Cars; Scott Lemen with DragRaceSolutions.com; APD; PAR Racing Engines; Ron Henderson Oil/ VP Racing Fuels; Sal Biondo and Biondo Racing Products; Foggit; Don Higgins and Crew Chief Pro; Laris Motorsports Insurance; Meziere Enterprises; Mike Rice and NHRA; and Lucas Oil.