Chase Murray hopped into a junior dragster when he was eight years old and never looked back. He now competes in Top Dragster and Super Comp in the NHRA circuit.
Chase Murray started making test passes in a Sears parking lot in his junior dragster when he was seven years old. Ever since then, he has never looked back and is full speed ahead looking at his future and where his racing career can take him.
Murray participated in Top Dragster and Super Comp in the NHRA and Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. You can mostly find him on in the Division 4 and 5 area.
We caught up with Chase and got to learn more about his racing career in the following Q&A.
DragChamp Racer Spotlight with Chase Murray
How long have you been racing?
23 years, since I was 8.
How did you get introduced to the sport?
My parents went to a swap meet when I was 7, while I stayed home with my grandparents. They saw a Jr. Dragster for sale and bought it since my dad loves all things hot rod. We made a few practice runs in the local SEARS parking lot until my 8th birthday when I started racing at Houston Raceway Park.
Which class or classes do you compete in?
Top Dragster and Super Comp
Where do you normally race? Provide a little history of your career.
My home track is Baytown (Houston Raceway Park). The tracks I frequent the most are State Capitol Raceway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, Louisiana. There is just something about the amazing people over there and all the awesome cooking..it’s a guaranteed good time every race.
I ran juniors from 8 until I was 18, then I took about 2 years off while I started college at Lamar Institute of Technology in Beaumont, TX where I pursued an Associate’s Degree in Instrumentation Technology…and we waited until the funds were there and then purchased a used turn-key Top Dragster (632ci with 2 kits of Nitrous, ran 6.70s) totally skipping the Super Comp step that most drivers take. It went immediately from Juniors to Top Dragster and I was hooked even more.
Fast forward a few years and we ran across a great deal on another dragster, hence making us 2-car operation and allowing me to run SC and TD. In 2015-2016 I had the opportunity to travel quite a bit and went everywhere from Florida to Bristol, Georgia, Indy, Vegas and Pomona. What an amazing year that was. What was really cool about that season was catching up with and meeting people who I had gotten to know on social media throughout the years. The racers truly are one big family, across the world, all sharing that same passion.
Tell us about your current race car. How long have you owned it, chassis builder, engine, drivetrain, how fast does it run, etc.
Top Dragster: 2006 Spitzer hardtail purchased in 2010, 509 ci Big Block Chevy. 14-71 Supercharger. 2-speed power glide transmission from FTI. Quickest pass to date is 5.97 @ 231 (whoops) Typically set-up to run 6.20 @ 225
Super Comp: purchased in 2008. 245” Miller 4-link, Sunset Performance 582 ci making 1075 hp. Runs 8.90 @ 174. 2-speed power glide transmission from FTI.
Please list your major racing accomplishments.
PDRA Top Dragster Win, Thanksgiving Race $10k win in Belle Rose, Pine Valley Raceway – Lufkin, Tx I won a shootout race on my birthday weekend on August 9th. Made it down to the Semifinals in my very first outing in Super Comp at Indy in 2015…only to be so amped up that I went -.006 red against Luke Bogacki (which I had just taken his and Tommy Phillips school the week before in Memphis)
What’s on your bucket list, future goals, what do you hope to achieve?
I would like to run a race in a Top Alcohol Dragster one day, and of course make a lap in a Top Fuel Dragster also.
What is your favorite race car, and why?
Honestly, it’s a split between my two dragsters. The Top Dragster is obviously way faster, which gives a crazy thrill and adrenaline rush, while the Super Comp takes some calculations every run to attempt to get it dialed in, so I enjoy that aspect of it also. I also love having the Super Comp car that I can take to weekly bracket race events.
Who has made the biggest impact on your racing success?
No doubt about it, my parents. They have always supported me, guided me, helped in every way they possibly could. My dad is my crew chief and is always the one with his hands dirty, making sure the racecars are ready to go. My mom always makes sure I have what I need to go racing, she has me well prepared and fed!
Who do you look up to in the sport?
I look up to the people who are humble competitors with great sportsmanship. At the end of the day, it’s all about having fun out there, and if you can’t do that, you’re in it for the wrong reasons.
Tell us what you do for a living?
I am a Process Operator for ExxonMobil
How do you support your racing, side hustle, sponsor, partner, etc.?
I could not be racing like I am without the support of my parents, stepparents, Mickey Thompson Tires, and Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants.
Who do you hate to see in the other lane, and why?
I hate to meet a really good friend in the first and second round. I would much rather meet them in the late rounds or finals!
What’s the hardest part of drag racing?
Definitely the mental aspect when you’re at the track, but even before that is all the details of making sure you have the best car you can possibly put together, and loading/unloading, getting everything prepared for the race.
What’s your most embarrassing moment in a race car?
One I think about all the time is trying to stage the car while in high gear, the transbrake didn’t hold, of course I rolled the beams…and my day is over! Now I constantly have my hand on the shifter making sure I have it in first gear before rolling forward to stage.
Are you superstitious? If so, what are they?
I wouldn’t say I’m superstitious, but I have a pretty good rule that if I happen to lose first round, and I’m able to buy back…I usually find myself in the winner’s circle that day.
Do you love to win or hate to lose?
Definitely love to win…it’s a thrill every time. I don’t get too bummed when I lose, just try to learn from my mistakes and be better next time.
Which are you better at the starting line or the finish line?
Couldn’t pick one over the other, but sometimes the stars align, and I find myself in the winner’s circle.
What motivates you to continue racing?
I’m a very competitive person, when it comes to anything really…not just racing. I enjoy the competition and striving to do better each race…figure out small ways to make my program better.
If money were no object, what would your racing operation look like? Car, trailer, class, race schedule, etc.
Top Fuel Dragster, then I would have an All Carbon Spitzer 272” with a Roots- Blown All Aluminum Chevy. Also, I’d have to get a tube chassis, Red C7 Corvette-Bodied Pro Mod with an All-Aluminum Roots-Blown Chevy. I’d like to travel to the racetrack in Hawaii and all of the other tracks around the world, Qatar, etc.
What’s your favorite thing about racing as a family?
The thrill of watching each other go rounds…the prep work before…the party afterwards!
No Problem Raceway. Belle Rose, LA because of the people and the food!
Name one thing most people don’t know about you?
4th grade Spelling Bee Champ
Who would you like to thank, who helps you the most?
Dad, Mom, Stepdad, Stepmom…my whole Family. They provide so much support in every way possible. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.
About the author: Megan Strassweg is a 22 year old Super Comp racer from Louisville, Kentucky. She races a 2015 American Dragster sponsored by Coolshirt Systems. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May of 2020 with a degree in Photojournalism and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Megan works at Jim Butner Auto in the Finance Department. Growing up at the racetrack, drag racing is all she has known and never plans to give up on it.