When Alex Laughlin made his NHRA Pro Stock debut last season in Sonoma, the Laughlin Motorsports/Gas Monkey Garage driver looked about as fresh-faced as they come. The Texas-based driver admitted that the move to Pro Stock “felt a little crazy,” and in a category where precision and finesse are key components, Laughlin was entitled to those feelings.
Despite the magnitude of the task, Laughlin jumped in with both feet and focused on refining the skills needed to run with the big dogs. It was a tough battle, but the former Top Dragster driver qualified for six national events in 2015 and committed to racing NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series full-time this year. He proved that persistence pays off this weekend at Gainesville Raceway as he wheeled his Gray Motorsports-powered Gas Monkey Energy Chevrolet Camaro to a stunning 6.614-second pass at 209.04 mph to qualify a career-best No. 4 – and not all that far behind the dominating KB Racing 1-2-3 punch of Jason Line, Greg Anderson, and Bo Butner.
The rewarding performance continued on Sunday as Laughlin dished out a 6.599, 208.75 to overcome Matt Hartford’s psychic .001-second reaction time and illuminate his very first win light in competition. Hartford recorded a 6.701, 208.07.
The round win and stellar qualifying position has Laughlin and his team elevated – and more excited than ever to get to the next race on the tour, the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas, April 1-3, 2016.
“We won our first-ever round of professional racing, and that may not seem like much, but it means the world to me and our whole team,” said Laughlin via Instagram (@fuelpotential). “Everyone says their team is the best, but ours really is. We couldn’t do it without each and every one of them. We are truly blessed.”
Big shout-out from Laughlin to: Gas Monkey Energy, Havoline, 360 Wraps, his team & dad, and Gray Motorsports.