The “Next Big Thing” Cody Barnhart is in the spotlight this week!
Cody Barnhart, dubbed the next big thing by Brody Quick, has been tearing up dragstrips across the south. In the short eleven years that he’s been competing, Cody has quickly rose to the top of the bracket racing world.
Although he normally competes near his home in Cullman, Alabama, he also ventures out to big money races frequently. In the last year Cody has made waves at Loose Rocker events, the World Footbrake Challenge, and the Great American Bracket Race.
We get to know the “Next Big Thing” Cody Barnhart in the following racer Q&A.
How did you get introduced to the sport?
I didn’t really play any sports growing up instead I was always into riding four-wheeler’s or going to the lake. So one day dad brings home a picture of a Jr. dragster and asked if I would want to drive one of these.
I thought about it for a few days and made a deal with him. I told him if he would quit smoking cigarettes I would race a Jr dragster. So he quit and I started racing.
Which class or classes do you compete in? Where do you normally race?
I mostly run Footbrake at Baileyton “Goodtime” Dragstrip.
Tell us about your current race car.
My primary racecar is my Orange 1967 Camaro. It has a 421 Dart small block built by Huntsville Engines and runs 6.20s-6.30s.
My other racecar is a tube chassis 1976 Nova that runs 6.50s-6.60s.
Please list your major racing accomplishments.
- 2012 Eastern Conference Finals champion
- 2017 Footbrake 150+50 Saturday $17,500 champion
- 2018 Footbrake 150 Friday $3,000 champion
- 2018 Bigfoot $40K semifinalist
- 2018 World Footbrake Challenge Saturday $10,000 champion
- 2019 Footbrake 150 Sunday $17,500 finalist
- 2019 The Great American Bracket Race Bottom Bulb Sunday $3,000 finalist
- 2019 The Great American Bracket Race Bottom Bulb Saturday $10,000 champion
What’s on your bucket list?
My bucket list is to race in the Labor Day $100,000 Footbrake race and race at least one of the Guaranteed Million Dollar races in 2020.
What is your favorite race car, and why?
My Camaro. It is my first “big car”. Dad and I have spent a lot of time and money on it so it holds a pretty big sentimental value to me.
Tell us what you do for a living?
I am a machinist at Dynetics Technical Solutions in Huntsville Alabama. I build missiles for the military and other aerospace components.
How do you support your racing, side hustle, sponsor, partner, etc.?
Gloria Williams at Freedom Insurance in Cullman, Alabama sponsors me but the majority of my racing funds comes straight out of my paycheck.
Who do you hate to see in the other lane, and why?
I don’t really hate to see anybody in the other lane. I honestly love seeing the big names in bracket racing staged up beside me.
Racing the big named racers pushes me to hit the tree better or race the finish line better. While racing them, it gives me first hand lessons how to become a better driver.
What’s the hardest part of drag racing?
Staying focused and staying out of your own way.
What’s your most embarrassing moment in a race car?
I’m in a Snapchat group called Nextgen. If anyone in the group hears you drove like a moron or did something stupid you immediately get roasted and they send the replay from Motormania of what you did.
So there isn’t one specific thing that sticks out.
What do you enjoy the most at the racetrack?
Getting to race my car and getting to hang out with friends and family.
Are you superstitious? If so, what are they?
Do you love to win or hate to lose?
I love to win.
Which are you better at the starting line or the finish line?
Depending on the day.
What motivates you to continue racing?
I feel like bracket racing is my niche so I want to keep becoming a better racer and be as successful as possible.
If money were no object, what would your racing operation look like?
Bracket racing I would want a Super Stock Chevy Cobalt or a Cobra Jet. Grudge racing I would want a Radial vs the World car.
How often do you use a practice tree?
3-4 times a week.
What is your daily driver?
2007 Honda Civic
Favorite music, artist?
Three Doors Down / Nickelback
Besides racing, what do you do in your free time?
If I’m not racing I usually spend my weekends at the lake. Riding around on the boat or Seadoo.
Would you rather hang out with a crowd or have a quiet evening at home?
What’s your favorite thing to eat?
Who would you like to thank?
The people who help me the most are my parents, Dennis and Hollie Barnhart. They both got me into this sport which has allowed me to meet some of my closest friends. They sacrificed a lot just so I could go Jr. dragster racing and I don’t think I could ever thank them enough.
My dad always helps me make sure the racecar is racing at its best potential. My mom always makes sure I have everything I need for a weekend of racing. When we are at the weekend long races she always has something cooked for lunch and dinner.
I don’t think you really appreciate a good hot meal at the end of a race until you go by yourself racing and you have to cook a hot pocket or a sandwich to tide you over until the concession stand opens the next morning.
I would also like to thank my fiance Haylee for not getting mad at me every time I leave at the last minute to go racing for a weekend. Multiple times we have had plans to go out somewhere that night and I decided to go racing last minute instead.
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