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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Jason Lawrence: DragChamp Racer Spotlight

Jason Lawrence is in this week’s DragChamp Racer Spotlight. Learn all about this DragChamp Pro Member in his spotlight below!

LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – 2024 marks 30 years since Jason Lawrence first ventured into the world of drag racing. He was introduced to the sport by his father, who raced a 1971 Chevelle in Heavy Eliminator during the late 80s. Jason’s journey began in 1994 when he started competing in a Junior Dragster. After aging out of Juniors, he participated in the high school class for a season, progressed through Street and Pro classes for a few seasons, and eventually found his stride in Super Street.

Fast forward to the present, and Jason now competes in .90 and big money bracket racing. Since his initial home tracks, Englishtown and Atco Dragway, have closed, he now often races at Maple Grove Raceway and Cecil County Dragway. However, he spends more time traveling than racing locally.

Jason’s versatility is evident in the array of classes he competes in at different events. These include Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Pro, Super Pro, No Box, Box, and Footbrake.

Learn more about Jason below!

DragChamp Logo

His Race Car

Jason’s personal race car is a 1984 Camaro, acquired from a high school friend for a mere $1 in 2004. He has cherished ownership of the Camaro for two decades, during which he and his father back-halfed it using a S&W kit and performed the necessary tin work. The car currently boasts a 406 small-block Chevy running on alcohol, a Powerglide, and a Nickerson carburetor. It runs 10.0 at 133 mph in the quarter-mile and achieves 6.40 at 106 mph in the eighth-mile.

The other car Jason drives is a 1972 Plymouth Duster owned by Dave Cray. The chassis was built by Ken Keir and the tin work was completed by Jason’s father and Lee Zane. The car also benefited from the wiring and tuning expertise of Bud McNasby. It will feature a 580 ci engine with Holley EFI fuel injection and a Powerglide. Its current performance is uncertain as it is in the final stages of completion. Jason started racing this car in 2013.

Outside of Racing

When Jason isn’t behind the wheel of a race car, he enjoys spending time with his kids and playing guitar. For work, Jason is the Assistant Supervisor of Mechanics at the New Jersey Department of Transportation. His favorite music genre is 60s and 70s punk rock and metal and his all-time favorite movie the Jaws. One thing people may not know about Jason is that he has an interest in lighthouses.

Jason’s Junior Dragster

Accomplishments

  • 1996 First Win
  • 2003 Jr. Dragster Atco Track Champion
  • 2004 Atco High School Track Champion
  • 2004 NHRA High School Bracket Finals Champion
  • 2006 Atco Street Eliminator Track Champion
  • 2014 Division 1 Jegs All-Star Rep for Super Street
  • 2015 Division 1 National Open Series Super Street Champion
  • 2017 Division 1 Lucas Oil Series Super Street Champion
  • 2020 Door Wars Footbrake Gamblers Race Winner
  • 2021-2022 Corona Practice Tree League Champion Top Bulb
  • 2023 Thursday 50K winner OG Million

Jason’s Q&A

What’s on your bucket list, future goals, what do you hope to achieve?

My goals would be to win a World Championship in Super Gas or Super Comp, win the million dollar day at the OG Million or the Fling Million. My bucket list is to race at Garden Island Raceway, in Hawaii, on the island of Kauai.  

What is your favorite race car, and why? 

A door car because I feel you can race more classes with them. 

Who has made the biggest impact on your racing success?

Bud McNasby and Lee Zane, they taught me everything I know. 

Who do you look up to in the sport?

Bud McNasby, Lee Zane, for their driving, and Walt Haas for having the right attitude.

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

I am sponsored by Dave Cray, when I run his duster. I do classic car restoration and race car custom paint and bodywork. 

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

Like most say, there is no one that really bothers me, but you know of the ones that its just going to be a tough race and just makes me have to make sure I am racing to the best of my ability.  

What’s the hardest part of drag racing?

Time away from family, you sign up for the rest of it, working on the car, spending money on parts and entry fee, that just comes with the territory, but time away from family and missing out on certain things at home is the hardest part. 

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

When my friend forgot to put the hood pins in and half track the hood came flying up and blew out the windshield on a Tuesday night at Atco. 

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

Nothing really crosses my mind, I just focus on my spot on the tree and that’s it. 

What do you enjoy the most at the racetrack?

Hanging out with friends, meeting new people, and seeing friends that only get to see maybe once a year at certain events. 

Are you superstitious?  If so, what are they? 

There are things I do in the car before I do the burn out and stage the car, that I don’t know if it would be considered superstitious or just routine.

Do you love to win or hate to lose? 

Of course I love to win, I don’t mind a close race where I lose, but what I hate the most is a bad win, where I just got lucky. 

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

My strength is the starting line but my finish line is definitely a very close second. 

What motivates you to continue racing?

The joys of racing my own cars, other people’s cars, the adrenaline of a good day or race weekend, and just the plain fact that its fun. 

If money were no object, what would your racing operation look like?  Car, trailer, class, race schedule, etc.

If money wasn’t an object, motor home, stacker trailer, door car and a dragster, basically race .90 and big money bracket racing events.

How often do you use a practice tree? 

I take 100 hits a day on my practice tree since 2013.

What is your daily driver? 

2012 Honda Civic and 1966 El Camino

What is your favorite sport?  Favorite team?

Football – Eagles, Baseball – Phillies, Hockey – Flyers 

Where do you spend the most time on the internet? 

I am usually watching Motormania or NHRA TV

What are you really good at? 

Helping others with their racing program.

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

Both have their appeal, sometimes its fun to hang out with a crowd, but its also fun staying home. 

What’s your favorite thing to eat?  Individual item, meal, or restaurant?

Steak – Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse 

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

I would like to thank my wife and kids for their endless support,my father for all the work he does on the car and dialing the car in, my mother for all of her accounting skills, Dave Cray for all of his support and friendship, Bud McNasby and Lee Zane from McNasby-Zane 101 Consulting, my friends Walt Haas and Parker Theobald, Nickerson Carburetor, Ed Alessi Jr from Select Performance Transmissions and Converters, and the Corona Practice Tree League. 

What is a piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring racer?

Don’t give up, always try to set small goals and then once you achieve those goals, shoot for the next, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

For more DragChamp racer spotlights, click here.

Want to become a DragChamp Pro Member like Jason? Check out the details here

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