How My Race Career Began

“My first encounter with a race car: My parents were gone for the night and my sister was watching me. My older brother came over with some of his friends with their Camaro race car. I remember them starting it up and my sister took me out in the garage and I asked why it was so loud. She said it was because it was fast.

Fast forwarding a year or so and my dad had an lawn edger that was loud, while it was running I asked him “is it fast?.” Later on I would come to love these sounds that startled me as a youngster.

The second time I went to a drag strip I was 22 years and old drove an ET roadster. From there on I continued driving it on weekends when time and money allowed. Wanting to have my own race car I shopped around for chassis kits and considered building a race car myself, but was talked out of by friends and a local chassis builder and wound up building a top alcohol dragster.

Changing directions during the build, I decided to experiment with nitro and put a blown big block Chevy in it. I ran it a few times locally before a split with my business partner forced the sale. After establishing my own hot rod business nostalgia funny cars caught my eye. I knew I had to have one.

I had the resources and the personnel to run the car, so I said “why not.” We had a lot of success and my first full season I won the championship. We carried the championship over to the next year as well, winning races in all three sanctioning bodies.

While I’m a full time driver for Jim Dunn on the NHRA Mello Yellow Series, I continue to enjoy driving my nostalgia funny car when time allows. I enjoy seeing all my friends I have met and look forward to meeting new ones.”

John and Karen Hale


Date of Birth: April 19, 1965
Hometown: Addison, Texas
Career Wins: 0
Career Final Rounds: 1
FC: 1
Career Best E.T.: 3.956 (Q3 Seattle 2016)
Career Best Speed: 317.87


Wife: Karen
Height/weight: 5’10”, 190 lbs.
Hobbies: Offshore boating and fishing, flying, shooting sports, anything outdoor life and grilling
Notable: Two-time Nostalgia Funny Car race winner and competitor on the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series

  • 2016 Career Highlights

    - Presented with a Wally for best appearing car

  • 2015 Career Highlights

    - Raced to a runner-up finish at Gainesville
    - Reached the quarterfinals on five occasions
    - Ran career-bests in time and speed at Topeka
    - Nominee for Road to the Future Award

  • 2014 Career Highlights

    - Competed at one national event

    - California Hot Rod Reunion Runner-Up
    - Tulsa Nitro Nationals Runner-Up
    - Presidents Cup Nitrojam Winner
    - 2nd Member Legends of Nitro 260 mph Club (261.14)

  • 2013 Career Highlights

    - Earned Nitro Funny Car license; qualified in debut in Seattle Nostalgia
    - California Hot Rod Reunion Winner (2nd in 3 years)
    - DRO 1/2 mile MPH Record (261.14)
    - Inaugural Texas Nitro Shootout Winner
    - DRO 1/8 mile ET Record (3.818)
    - DRO 1/8 mile MPH Record (196.07)
    - Boise Nightfire Nationals Low Qualifier
    - Boise Nightfire Nationals Winner
    - Texas Raceway Track MPH Record (200.50)
    - Texas Raceway Track ET Record (3.746)
    - DRO Texas Raceway Winner

  • 2012 Career Highlights

    - Tulsa Nitro Nationals Runner-Up
    - Reset DRO MPH Record (253.42)
    - Reset DRO ET Record (5.711)
    - US131 Funny Car Nationals Winner
    - Cedar Falls Night of Fire Winner
    - Rockabilly Rod Reunion Winner
    - Boise Ignitor Runner-Up
    - San Antonio Nitro Jam Winner

  • 2011 Career Highlights

    - DRO AA/FC Challenge MPH Record (251.72
    - DRO AA/FC Challenge ET Record (5.777)
    - California Hot Rod Reunion Champion
    - Drag Racing On Line AA/FC Challenge Champion
    - World Series of Drag Racing Champion
    - World Series of Drag Racing Top Speed
    - World Series of Drag Racing Low ET
    - Boise Night Fire Nationals Runner-Up
    - Geezers at Maple Grove Runner-Up
    - Kansas City Muscle Car Reunion Champion
    - Bakersfield Track ET Record (5.589)
    - Cordova Track MPH Record (251.72)
    - Cordova Track ET Record (5.673)
    - Las Vegas Track ET Record (5.698)