Fast Facts: NASCAR/NHRA Connections

Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR
During this upcoming weekend, 2004 NEXTEL Cup Champion Kurt Busch will attempt to make the Pro-Stock field at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals (March 10-13) in Gainesville, Florida.  He will be driving for Allen Johnson and J&J Racing at the historic Gainesville Raceway.
The Penske Racing driver isn’t the only connection between NASCAR and the top drag racing series in the country over the years – here are a few more:

  • Richard Petty – In 1965, “The King” went drag racing in protest of a NASCAR sanction which prevented him from using his preferred Chrysler 426 Hemi engine.
  • Joe Gibbs Racing – JGR fielded NHRA teams in all three major divisions – Pro-Stock (Jim Yates), Funny Car (Cruz Pedegron) and Top Fuel (Cory McClenathan) – in the mid-1990s. Pro-Stock driver Jim Yates won two championships in his McDonald's sponsored car in 1996 and 1997.
  • John Andretti – Mario Andretti’s nephew has not only competed in NASCAR’s top three divisions, the IndyCar series and sports cars but he also took a turn in a Top Fuel dragster in 1993.
  • Kenny Bernstein – “The Bud King” took a turn at NASCAR team ownership for ten seasons. From 1986 to 1995, Bernstein’s King Racing fielded Cup Series cars for Ricky Rudd (two wins) and Brett Bodine (one win); he also owned King Motorsports, which raced in the IndyCar Series. 
  • Find out more about the NHRA and Busch's weekend at
Fast Facts: NASCAR/NHRA Connections Fast Facts: NASCAR/NHRA Connections Reviewed by Paula on Thursday, March 10, 2011 Rating: 5