Top Fuel driver and team owner Buddy Hull will return to the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series this weekend during the Menards NHRA Nationals presented by Pet Armor at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka.
The second-year driver will once again pilot the Vertex Roofing and General Contractors with support from associate sponsors DFW RV Center, Lucky’s Diesel Shop, CamperLife Superstore, Roof 4 Vets, and 1st Class Graphics.
Hull has qualified for each event he has entered in 2022, including the season-opening Winternationals in Pomona and the SpringNationals in Houston. This weekend’s event will be Hull’s 16th professional start in Top Fuel.
“It has been an awesome summer, but I am tired of looking at my race car in the shop,” said Hull. “I want to see the race car sitting next to the trailer in the pits. I want to see my race car being towed to the staging lanes.”
The young team is still coming together on Hull’s own timeline, and the aspiring full-time professional driver knows he must develop marketing relationships as well as team management skills to be successful. Hull has built several successful businesses, including Vertex Roofing and General Contractors, so he is leaning on that experience as well as his passion for following his dreams.
“I became very good at being on the phone with tracking down race-car parts and making sure the team has everything we need to get the car back together. I am very hands-on,” said Hull. “We don’t have any full-time help here at the shop. We spent our summer acquiring a bunch of new parts. Tim Wilkerson’s guys built us a few new sets of heads. The chase to get parts is the real deal. We have a lot of friends, and they have stepped up and helped us out. I am thankful to all those people, and there are too many to thank. It has been a blessing to know there are people that want to see me back out there racing. Without their help, we wouldn’t be able to do it. We have no junk in our inventory.”
While Hull is not a regular in the series, he has steadily developed a strong fan following when he does hit the track. His existing fans are very supportive, and Hull also is a master at developing new fans and welcoming people to the sport of NHRA Drag Racing.
“It is all about the show. In the end, we are out there to entertain people,” said Hull. “It is the race cars but also our personalities as drivers and entertainers. I want to get out there with the fans and have fun. I want to let them know that, yes, we go over 320 mph, but we are just people, too. If you want to do this too, there is a way for you to do it if you work hard enough. I hope to inspire many people to do what I am doing. That is my life’s goal: To show people if I can do it, you can do it. I truly believe if you want something bad enough, you can do it.”
The passion Hull exudes in his pits also carries over to his marketing partners and supporters. Coming into this season, Hull had a plan on his racing schedule, and the young team owner has had to deal with a number of hurdles to keep his program on track. He relies on a handful of dedicated part-time crewmembers, and he continues to cultivate marketing relationships that will blossom in the future.
“I am overly thankful for the sponsors that are on my race car,” said Hull. “Without them, that is one more thing I would have to be concerned about in terms of providing for my team. I want to do this the very best way I can, and I want to win. That is why I get out of bed every day; because I want to win. Racing five or six times every year in Top Fuel isn’t going to cut it for me. My plan is to learn how to be a team owner and continue to improve as a driver and grow my team. We have some big irons in the fire. I am not going anywhere. You will see us out there fully funded. I am not quitting.”