Buddy Hull, a Top Fuel driver, is set to return to his roots in front-engine racing following an announcement by Jim Dunn Racing at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show. The legendary team disclosed that Hull will take the reins as the new Funny Car driver. He will step into a Funny Car that achieved qualification in every race, benefitting from the tuning expertise of drag racing icon Jim Dunn and an adept crew, guided by his son Jon. In the fiercely competitive NHRA Countdown, the Jim Dunn Racing Funny Car showcased its strength with a semifinal finish and three quarterfinal finishes, concluding the season in tenth place within the challenging Funny Car category. Hull is poised to steer the wheel throughout the entire 21-race Mission Foods Drag Racing Series.
Jon Dunn expressed excitement about Hull joining the team, stating, “We are delighted to welcome Buddy as our new Funny Car driver. I’ve had my eye on him for some time now. His operational approach and personality align perfectly with our race team. I’m eager to see him in action and discover what we can accomplish together in the Funny Car.”
Buddy Hull has been racing a Top Fuel dragster since 2021 on a limited schedule. Over the past three seasons, he has secured sponsorships from Renegade Race Fuels, Methanol Moonshine, Go Lithium, and several other partners for Buddy Hull Racing. Additionally, he has actively supported charitable causes such as the North Texas Down Syndrome Foundation and various other initiatives through his racing endeavors.
Expressing his gratitude and excitement, Hull remarked, “Being invited to drive for Jim Dunn Racing is a tremendous honor and privilege for me. My racing journey began with front-engine vehicles in fuel altereds. I am anticipating this challenge and am committed to making Jim, Jon, and the entire team proud. Stay tuned for more updates, but I am eagerly preparing to acquire my crossover license and gain valuable experience heading into the 2024 Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season.”
With a racing legacy spanning over 60 years, Jim Dunn and Jim Dunn Racing have consistently proved their competitiveness. Dunn’s illustrious career includes a Top Fuel victory at the 1969 March Meet among 125 drivers. Notably, his innovative Barracuda secured the 1972 Supernationals, marking the first and only win by a rear-engined Funny Car to date. Transitioning to team ownership in the ’90s, Dunn’s team, despite smaller budgets, clinched victories and achieved commendable standings with drivers like Frank Pedregon and Al Hofmann. Most recently, Alex Laughlin drove for this Hall of Fame team owner.
The family-oriented racing team, led by Jim Dunn as the tuner and supported by seasoned crew members such as his wife Diane and granddaughter Johnna Dunn, is preparing for Hull’s crossover license and exploring additional marketing prospects with the new team. The Jim Dunn Racing Funny Car team, featuring Hull, will make its debut at the historic Gatornationals on March 8-10, 2024, at Gainesville Raceway.