Drag Illustrated Issue 177, July / August 2022 | Page 110

this spring , so Brooke just recently returned to Top Dragster competition .
Hall realizes how fortunate he is to have his daughters and now granddaughters at the racetrack with him , as Fulton had stepped away from racing before his kids really got the chance to see him race . So , Hall embraces family time when they ’ re at the races .
“ The grandbaby , Laykn , really changed mine and my wife ’ s life when she came into the picture ,” Hall says . “ She ’ ll be five years old on the 23rd of this month . “ When I ’ m in the car strapped in , ready to go , she ’ ll stick her little face up right at that little hole in the window – ‘ Papa , you better win . You better win .’”
Along with his family , Hall credits supporters like Fulton , chassis builder Tommy Mauney , Schaeffer ’ s Oil , Jack Ford , Trevor Wiggins of GET ’ M Garage , and buddies like Hank Guyton , Rob Painter , Jeremy Creasman , Michael White , and Brad Taylor .

OVER THE YEARS of working for Fulton , an eccentric 74-year-old who counts skydiving as a hobby , Hall has seen and done it all .

Personally , he ’ s evolved from the “ floor sweeper ” to Fulton ’ s right-hand man and the main point of contact for most customers at the PDRA races . Meanwhile , the shop has grown to include customers across numerous different classes , many of which require the latest in engine technology .
“ Back when I first started , Gene and them had these dang stock blocks and stock heads and had to build what they could out of what
we had for stock stuff ,” Hall says . “ This stuff we ’ re doing nowadays , all this CNC billet blocks and heads and all that , I keep telling everybody , ‘ When ’ s it going to stop ? When ’ s it going to stop ?’ But it don ’ t stop . It ’ s just out of control , man .
“ But I like working at the shop ,” Hall says . “ Like I said , I ’ ve been there my whole life . Sometimes it can be a real pain in the butt to work for [ Fulton ]. But he ’ s 74 years old right now . He ’ s actually mellowed out in the last couple years .”
The Fulton Competition brand has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years with the dominant success of nitrous Pro Modified veteran Jim Halsey . He won the last three PDRA Pro Nitrous world championships with a Fulton 959-cubic-inch mill between the frame rails in his Bickel-built “ Daddy Shark ” ’ 68 Camaro . Hall says it ’ s been a real thrill for the shop to be a part of that success , but he ’ s quick to share the credit .
“ It ’ s not just me or Fulton Competition or the boys at the shop ,” Hall says . “ It ’ s a group effort . It ’ s me , Gene , Tommy [ Hall ], another boy named David [ Greene ] that works at the shop , all the Halsey crew : Eric [ Davis ], Jimmy , Cathy [ Crouse-Halsey ], Michael [ McMillan ], Brandon [ Switzer ], Melissa [ Switzer ]. It ’ s a group effort . It ’ s all of us .”
Hall says the engines typically stay with Halsey between races , as crew chief Eric Davis handles routine service work , then they return to Hall and Fulton for machine work and serious revamps .
Halsey ’ s performance at the inaugural Summit Racing Equipment PDRA ProStars race last year was one of Hall ’ s most memorable outings with the Halsey crew . With no qualifying , just one shakedown run before four rounds of eliminations , it wasn ’ t the ideal time to bring out a brand-new engine . It all worked out , though , as Halsey won the deal .
“ We go out there [ for the shakedown run ], and Jimmy does a burnout and backs up ,” Hall begins , “ and it ’ s an all-new motor , all-new lines , and all this stuff . There could be one little major leak . Heck , I ’ m on the starting line laying down on the ground , looking underneath the car making sure nothing leaks out the car before he staged the thing . He goes out there and the first pass was a . 73 or . 72 . That turned heads right there . Brand-new motor out the shop , first pass , 3.72 . Everybody was like , ‘ What ? Come on now .’
“ But that was pretty thrilling , to take a brand-new motor and throw it in a car and see her first pass right down Broadway ,” Hall continues . “ There ’ s a lot of people that won ’ t do that . They ’ ll go out there and make a halftrack or 60-foot just to make sure everything ’ s cool and get a baseline tuneup . But Brandon [ Switzer ], when it comes to tuning a car , Brandon ’ s top-notch , Bubba . He is the best .”
Hall has had a front-row seat to The Halsey Show over the last few years , and he ’ s seen the effort that led to a slew of wins , No . 1 qualifier awards , the three world championships , and the title of quickest and fastest eighth-mile , big-tire , nitrous-assisted Pro Mod .
“ They ’ re a tight-knit group , but when they get to the racetrack , they ’ re there to win the race and do what they supposed to dang do . It ’ s like a job to them ,” Hall says .
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