Even Dan Horan Jr. understood the odds were clearly not in his favor. There he sat in his Nostalgia Fuel Funny Car car, upside down just moments after he ran into the sandtrap at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, when the parachutes failed to deploy on his front-running entry.
Horan figured pending a miracle his chances of racing in the Bakersfield March Meet were slim to none.
“You got to give props where props are due,” Horan admitted. “I thought if the car went back together, we’d have a pretty darn good shot at getting it into the number one position. Pomona was a little light, and we just analyzed all the data and went after it and took a swing at it. And thank the Lord Jesus, we’re made it here.”
Credit Andy Carlson with Infinity Plumbing and Barry’s Speed Shop for helping him make the impossible very possible. Horan’s tireless crew made it all come together.
Not only did Horan get the car repaired in time to race, but in Friday’s second qualifying session at the Bakersfield March Meet last month he drove his way to the No. 1 qualifying position, and low elapsed time of the event with a 5.547-second pass at 264.49 mile per hour run.
“We have a lot of people that busted their tails for 28 days, my crew, our friends, our friendship with Infinity Plumbing, a large plumbing contractor in Southern California, Barry’s Speed Shop supplying the power for this out of Corona, California,” Horan explained. “We had tremendous help, and we were able to pull it off and get it done.”
Not only did Horan and his crew pull off the enormous task of rebuilding the damaged Funny Car but also took time to prepare an entry for the Nostalgia Top Fuel division, a class his father usually ran.
Horan began running Nostalgia Top Fuel late last season in honor of his dad Dad, Sr., who passed away in 2016.
“Driving that dragster is a hoot,” Horan said. “I know my dad’s smiling down from heaven. He’s looking at us right now, and he’s sitting there saying, ‘Look at those guys working all hard.”
“I know he’s having a blast watching both these cars run. Before we started, I go, ‘This is for you, dad,” and here we are.”
Racing the front-engine dragster isn’t because Horan feels the need for speed.
“It’s 100% for my father,” said Horan, who drops the Jr. from his name when he races in the dragster. “It’s a tribute.”
One day, when drag racing in the Heritage Series resumes, Horan has a dream to win a title in both divisions. One for him, and the other for his dad.
“I can’t even put that thought into any type of words,” Horan said. “I just want to focus on doing the very best I can. Then at that point [if we can pull it off], maybe we’ll drop the mic and be done.”