Landon Exner – DragChamp Racer Spotlight

Texas-based Jr. Dragster racer Landon Exner is in the DragChamp Spotlight!

Landon Exner is our DragChamp Racer Spotlight this week. The 12 year old Deer Park, Texas Jr. racer has been competing for five years.

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Landon was introduced to the sport by his father, Matt Exner. In addition to his dad, Landon’s racing was inspired by his Grandpa and Uncle Steve who also raced.

With dreams of becoming a bracket racing star like Hunter Patton and Cory Gulitti, Landon Exner is on the right path. He’s already accumulated an impressive trophy case!

Landon tackled our Racer Q&A like a pro and his answers are entertaining. Check out out first Jr. Dragster Racer Spotlight below.

Landon Exner Racer Spotlight

landon exner hrp

Which class or classes do you compete in and where do you normally race?

I run sportsman junior at Houston Raceway Park. I run the 10-12 year old age group, 8.90 index, all run big money, and Bracket 330 at the Southwest Junior Dragster Series.

Tell us about your current race car. 

I drive an American junior dragster with a Jim Rodgers motor and a shock wave clutch. I run 8.90 at 73 mph.

Please list your major racing accomplishments.

  • Won the first race I ever went to which was an IHRA divisional at the age of 7.
  • I won an IHRA Division 4 Pro-Am championship my rookie season.
  • I won every points race that year on my claimed points.
  • Finished Top Ten at Houston Raceway Park only attending less than half of their points races.
  • This year attending all of their points races I ended up finishing second.

What do you hope to achieve in drag racing?

I want to be the youngest person to win the World Footbrake Challenge. I aspire to be like Hunter Patton and Cory Gulitti and be able to have the success they have with big money bracket racing.

landon and alice exner
Landon with sister Alice

What is your favorite race car, and why?

I really like roadsters. Left hand steer roadsters they are like dragsters and a door car.

Who has made the biggest impact on your racing success?

My dad has had the biggest impact on my racing success. He makes sure I have a good racecar. Dad has taught me how to drive the top end, how to watch the race unfold, and make decisions at the finish line based on that.

Landon Exner with sister Alice
Landon with sister Alice

Who do you look up to in the sport?

I look up to John Force. He grew up poor and built a racing empire from nothing. He autographed my championship iron man.

Tell us what you do for a living?

I am not old enough to make a living yet. I attend Bonnette Jr. High and I do work at my dad’s shop when I can to make extra money.

How do you support your racing, side hustle, sponsor, partner, etc.?

Landon Exner working at Exner Transmissions

I work at my dad’s shop to pay for things on my car. We use my winnings to buy things for the old shagging wagon me and my dad are building. I also have some sponsors that help out with racing.

Exner Racing Transmissions, Houston Engine and Balancing, Premium Quality Auto Care, Mike Trumble, Sam Rufenacht, John Garner, and Guidry’s Cajun Kitchen.

Who do you hate to see in the other lane, and why?

I hate racing Rylie Trumble. We are really good friends we hate losing and we end up boxing each other.

What’s the hardest part of drag racing?

The hardest part so far for me is judging the finish line against a 7.90 car in my 8.90 car.

landon exner

What’s your most embarrassing moment in a race car?

I have a lot of embarrassing moments and more to come.

What are you saying to yourself just before you stage the car?

When I am staging the car I think don’t mess this up.

What do you enjoy the most at the racetrack?

The part I really enjoy is hanging out with friends and family after I have won that day.

Landon trophies

Are you superstitious? 

I am not superstitious.

Do you love to win or hate to lose?

I hate losing more than I like winning.

Which are you better at the starting line or the finish line?

I am alright on the starting line, I could be better, but I am very good at finish line driving. That has bailed my starting line abilities out of a jam quite a bit.

Landon Exner jr dragster hrp

What motivates you to continue racing?

What motivates me to keep racing? The people who hate seeing me win.

If money were no object, what would your racing operation look like? 

I am not very moved by money, but if I ever won the lottery or came into a lot of money, my racing program would look a lot like my racing program does now.

How often do you use a practice tree?

I don’t use a practice tree enough.

What is your daily driver?

My dad gets me around in his F-250 but we are building me the ole shagging wagon.

The ole shagging wagon

Favorite movie?

Napoleon dynamite is my favorite movie.

Favorite music, artist?

Elvis Presley is my favorite artist I also like country music and 50 rock n roll.

Where do you spend the most time on the internet?

I don’t get on the internet a lot but I play door slammers.

Besides racing, what do you do in your free time?

In my free time I play football, box, and work at my dad’s shop.

Landon pulling maintenance

What are you really good at?

I am good at racing and boxing.

Name one thing most people don’t know about you?

People at school don’t really know that I race and at Christmas time we give gifts to the kids that the parents can’t afford to buy stuff for them.

Would you rather hang out with a crowd or have a quiet evening at home?

I would rather hangout with racing buddies.

What’s your favorite thing to eat? 

My favorite thing to eat is crawfish at Guidry’s Cajun Kitchen in Deer Park.

Who would you like to thank, who helps you the most?

I would like to thank my dad, Matt Exner, he makes it all possible for me.

Exner winners circle

Mike Trumble hauls me to the track when my dad can’t and he also treats me like a son. Sam Rufenacht helps set up the car. David Wright, Wade Smith, John Garner, Uncle Steve, Steve Taylor, Kyle Shorncliffe, and Kim DeYoung have all helped me with my race car either with sponsorship or in other ways.

Also would like to thank my step mom Tiffany, my sister Alice, my Mom and my step dad Bryan for all the love and support.

And thanks DragChamp for doing a story on me.

Click here to find more Jr. Dragster racer features on DragChamp.

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