Local drag racer James McNeal loves to go fast – this Nov 15th he will be going from 0 to 180 MPH in just 7 seconds in his Precision Automotive dragster at the AAA Auto Club NHRA Finals in California.
McNeal, who is a born and raised native of Paris Texas, has earned an invitation to race against 7 other finalists for the NHRA National Championship Title in Pomona California in the super pro category.
Over 80,000 racers participated in the NHRA Summit Racing Series making it the largest organized series in drag racing nationwide, and McNeal is one of seven finalists out of that large group.
McNeal, who works at Precision Automotive, is no stranger to the national event, or even the podium, having won the super pro national championship title in 2009.
McNeal’s journey to the top started over 40 years ago after a win at the Paris Drag Strip in his sister’s car.
“I like to go fast and you don’t get tickets on the track,” laughed McNeal. “But, truly, it’s the competition and the aspect of different combinations of engines that I love.”
McNeal races a 2005 Dragster that reaches 175-180 mph in a 7 second range on a quarter mile track and says this is not from nitrous or a blower, it’s all motor.
Passing on his love for speed and the sport to his family, McNeal stated that racing is a family affair.
“My oldest son JD races, my wife Johnna just recently purchased her own racecar,” said McNeal. “My youngest son, Drew, has just started racing, and my daughter, Natalie, is a member of my pit crew.”
So, what does the National Championship win mean? “Money for the race, money from the contingency programs, parts, display stickers, a Wally trophy, an NHRA gold card and, of course, we get the “champion title” and a lot of publicity.”
For those interested in getting into racing, McNeal reminds you to just have fun and remember, “Accept the fact that you’re going to lose some, and cherish those moments when you win.”