Drag Illustrated Issue 177, July / August 2022 | Page 111

“ The grandbaby , Laykn , really changed mine and my wife ’ s life when she came into the picture ,” Hall says . “ 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 .’”
Hall has known Halsey and his crew for many years , as Halsey has been a longtime Fulton customer , but the team ’ s recent run in PDRA Pro Nitrous has brought Hall closer to the group . They work well together at the track , and they ’ re good friends away from the track .
“ They let me come in their pits and help them do whatever they need to do ,” Hall says . “ It ’ s been an honor . A lot of people won ’ t do that . I got some customers out there ; they don ’ t want me around . They don ’ t want me to know what they got in their car , what they got in their tuneup , you know what I mean ?
“ They ’ re good people . They really are nice people . My mama died June the 4th , and Cathy and all of them sent flowers and everything . That meant a lot to me .”
Seeing Fulton ’ s customers find success and jumping in the occasional winner ’ s circle picture is the reward for all of Hall ’ s work at the shop . He ’ ll take a bare block and handle nearly every step involved in building a complete 959-cubic-inch engine ready to go to Brandon Switzer ’ s shop about an hour up the road in Denver , North Carolina .
“ I do a lot of machine work at the shop ,” Hall says . “ I do all the block work , and Gene does a lot of the head work . I cut all the heads and stuff like that . Gene normally does the final assembly on heads and stuff . I do all the honing . I do a lot . Too much , really , and sweep the floor still .”
It can be an advantage , as Hall gets to do all of his own engine work for his cars , and he ’ s surrounded by some of the best mechanical minds in the industry . But once again , racing is an all-consuming lifestyle for Hall , and it can understandably get overwhelming at times .
“ I tell people all the time , ‘ Would you like to be at your job 24 / 7 ?’ ‘ No .’ I said , ‘ Well , I ’ m at my job pretty much 24 / 7 ,’” Hall points out .
“ I work every day at the shop . I go home . I ’ m working on stuff in my shop . Then I go to the racetrack . I ’ m still surrounded by racing stuff . I never get a break . Never .”
But Hall realizes it ’ s his own actions that led to this unique way of life , and quite honestly , it ’ s probably exactly what the 14-yearold version of Hall envisioned after he made that first pass down Shuffletown Dragway ’ s now-abandoned eighth-mile strip .
“ That ’ s the life that I got thrown into and chose ,” Hall confirms . “ It ’ s been a pretty good life to live , and I ’ ve had a lot of fun , met a lot of good people , and it could be worse . Could be working a regular job , not doing any racing or anything like that .
“ I ’ m just an old country boy . My mom didn ’ t have a whole lot of money when she was coming up , and my daddy didn ’ t either . And heck , I still don ’ t really , but I ’ m just fortunate enough to ride this rollercoaster .” DI
July / August 2022 DragIllustrated . com | Drag Illustrated | 111