NHRA

Q&A: NHRA Crewman Dallas Glenn Gets His Shot at Pro Stock Racing

Dallas Glenn
Dallas Glenn, a member of KB Racing, will make his NHRA Pro Stock debut at the 2021 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals. (Image courtesy of the Glenn family)

Longtime OnAllCylinders readers might be familiar with Dallas Glenn, a KB Racing Pro Stock crew member who has spent the last several years handling back-end duties for Jason Line’s Chevrolet Camaro. If you’re a new reader, or if you’re just not committed enough to memorize everything we post (merely considering this possibility deeply wounds us), here’s the original story we wrote about Glenn for context.

To sum up that story, Glenn is an avid drag racing enthusiast with a long history of Sportsman class bracket racing wins to his own name. This month, he’s getting something he’s always dreamed of: a chance to make his mark at the NHRA Pro Stock level.

Glenn will make his Pro Stock debut at the 52nd annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, taking place March 11-14 at Gainesville Raceway. He is being sponsored by Silver State Refrigeration, HVAC & Plumbing, and RAD Torque Systems.

We recently got a chance to chat with Glenn about this amazing new opportunity, his racing background and his plans for the future.

This Q&A has been edited for clarity and brevity.


OnAllCylinders (OAC): “Dallas, I think it might be a tiny bit of an understatement to say that this is a big deal for you?”

Dallas Glenn (DG): “It’s a very big deal for me. I’ve been dreaming of racing Pro Stock since I was a little kid. I told everybody that I was gonna be on a Pro Stock team and race Pro Stock one day, and everyone just looked at me like, ‘Okay, so like, what are you really gonna do?’ I guess it’s good that I can prove them wrong and prove that if you put your head down and stay focused for long enough, you can always make your dreams come true.”


OAC: “When you found out that this was happening, who was the first person that you had to call and tell?”

DG: “Other than the sponsors who told me that they want to continue, first it was my wife, obviously, because I like to live. And then the next was Jason Line and Rob Downing, the crew chief.”


OAC: “Speaking of Jason, you’ve been a member of the KB Racing team for several years now. Until recently, you were working as part of Jason Line’s pit crew, but then he retired this past year. Could you talk a bit about how his decision paved the way for your opportunity to drive in Pro Stock?”

DG: “[Jason] getting out of the car, as well as Bo Butner in the same year, just made it so that there were extra available vehicles. When there are cars available, they’re always looking to rent them out. It opened up the opportunity to really give that push to sponsorship. We have very good cars ready to go. They’re championship potential cars. It just creates that little extra push to say, ‘Let’s do it.'”


OAC: “Is this basically the same Camaro then that Jason would’ve been driving if he hadn’t retired?”

DG: “No, I will be in the same car that Kyle Koretsky was driving last year. It happens to also be the same car that Jason did win the championship in, but I think it was two years ago Jason got a brand new car, and that’s what he was racing his last two years. Kyle’s going to get into that one since he’s racing full time and I’m only on a part-time schedule.”


OAC: “Is that intimidating in any way to you? Both taking on this car that’s been in these big races and carrying on in the footsteps of a guy like Jason or a guy like Bo?”

DG: “No. As far as the driving, I know there’s probably going to be a learning curve and I’m going to have to get used to certain things, but I’ve driven in enough different vehicles already that hopping into a new vehicle is—I guess I would say it’s not new to me. I’m just more excited than anything, because I’ve always seen Jason, but I’ve never actually experienced all the other stuff that everybody doesn’t see, you know? Like the media days, autograph signings, and stuff like that. So that will be a whole new experience for me.”


OAC: “Who was it who came to you and told you that they wanted you to drive? How did that happen?”

DG: “A good friend of mine, Shane Thompson, who is co-owner of Silver State Refrigeration. We’ve always talked back-and-forth, and I’ve driven a lot of his cars over the years and been friends with him for a long time. I first was talking to him at Vegas last year, and I was just kind of making conversation with him. ‘You know how much it takes to sponsor one of these?’ He threw out, ‘You know, if you’re driving, I’d throw some money out there.’ Okay, well then I started pushing real hard for other sponsors, and I got in touch with Dan Provost, owner of RAD Torque Systems, and he was on board right from the start. Without those two guys I wouldn’t be able to do this.”


OAC: “That’s awesome that it came together for you like that. When you were able to get everything set up, did you have any kind of freak-out moment? Like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is really happening’?”

DG: “No, I haven’t had that yet. I’m sure it’s probably coming, but I don’t think it will happen until I throw on my jacket and climb in to get licensed. That’s probably when I’ll be like, ‘This is really happening.’”


OAC: “In a general sense, how do you feel about the future of Pro Stock? We’re kind of in a transition phase with guys like Jason and Bo stepping away, and there’s this new crop of younger guys like you and Kyle Koretsky. Do you feel like you guys are ready to grab the reigns?”

DG: “Yeah, and there’s still a lot of good competition in Pro Stock, with Erica [Enders], [Deric] Kramer, and [Matt] Hartford. And Troy Coughlin Jr.’s a good driver, too. Pretty much everybody in Pro Stock. I feel like Pro Stock right now is as tough as it’s ever been. Pretty much anybody in the field right now has the potential and the car to go out and win on any given day. With a little bit of luck, and hitting all the points at the right time, anybody could win right now. I feel like, in past years, there was usually a couple cars that were running away with it. I know we’ve done it in the past. But right now I feel like everybody is pretty much on the exact same plane, level, field. I’m excited, and I’m hungry to get out there and really throw everything I have it. We’ll see where it gets me.”


OAC: “You grew up a racing fan in a family of racing fans in the Pacific Northwest, got into quarter midgets at a young age, pretty much started drag racing as soon as you could get your license and made a name for yourself at the sportsman level. What are some of your biggest achievements on the strip to date?”

DG: “One of the biggest achievements I feel like I’ve had is when I won the national event in Las Vegas. I believe it was 2011, in Super Gas. I’ve been in a final once before in stock, but to finally seal the deal is a whole other experience…. Aside from that, I finished 9th in world points in Stock Eliminator, I believe the year before that.

“After that, I got a couple bracket wins here and there. Last year, I doubled up at the Summit Sportsman Spectacular. That was the first and second Ironman I ever won, so that was kind of a whole new big thing for me. Plus, I hadn’t really won any big races out east here. I won a lot out west, but to win one out east brings a whole new level of confidence that I can still do this.

“The most recent one is, I went to the final round and then lost in the quarters of the Fall Footbrake Frenzy out at Piedmont. With the caliber of footbrake racer there, to make it that far in, not one, but two races in the same weekend is a huge confidence booster. I feel like I’m in a street car compared to some of the guys I’m racing. I’m dialed in the mid 7s, and they’re going in the low 5s.”


OAC: “There was one other one I don’t think you mentioned, but I wanted to bring it up because it stood out to me: the 2008 Race of Champions. If you were a little bit older when you got that win, I think that would’ve taken you to finals, right?”

DG: “Yeah, I won Division 6 in the Race of Champions in Sportsman, and I was 17. That was the first year that they implemented the ‘you have to be 18 to race in a national event’ rule. If I had been born 43 days earlier—you know I blame my parents on that one—I would’ve been able to go to Pomona and race for the world championship. So that was kind of the start of the hunger to really really prove myself.

“When they first told me right after I won, ‘Well, you know you’re 17, you can’t go to Pomona,’ I was like, ‘Well, who are you gonna send?’ And they were like, ‘We’re gonna send the winner of Sunday.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, I’ll go win Sunday.’ I got close, but I ran out of luck, I think in the semis. But that hunger just kind of stayed with me.”


OAC: “I imagine that had to sting a little bit, the way that went down. How do you bounce back from that kind of disappointment, especially because it had nothing to do with your performance? It had everything to do with your age.

DG: “You know, I went down and still supported my team from Division 6, and, I mean, I just kind of stuck with racing. I’m like, ‘Well, I’ll just get it next year, or the year after that. I’ll get it eventually.’ Like I was saying, the hunger to kind of prove that I could be one of the best has always stuck with me. I think we left that race, the Race of Champions, and stopped at a bracket race on the way home in Yakima, and I ended up winning that one, too. When the luck is there you just keep on rolling.”


OAC: “Wait, you actually went to another bracket race on the way home from that race?”

DG: “Yeah, we went to a big money race in Yakima that I ended up winning. Which, actually, the funny story there is we went to that one and that’s where I first met Shane Thompson. I think I beat him in one of the rounds there, and he was like, ‘Why don’t you come and race in one of my cars in Top Sportsman in February down in Vegas?’ So that’s how that all started. Everything kind of flows together….

“That’s one of the things that I love the most about drag racing is there’s the competitiveness, and your destiny is pretty much in your control—when you shut the door its just you—but what I love about it is just the camaraderie and all the people that you meet. Everybody’s friends out here. Even though we’re fierce competitors when we’re on the track against each other, everybody’s good friends, and it’s a good time, you know? Especially on the NHRA circuit, it is a travelling circus, really.”


OAC: “Who are some of the most interesting personalities that you’ve met in the racing community?”

DG: Obviously, Jason Line would be right near the top, especially if you ever get a chance to hang out with him for an extended period of time. He’s got some one-liners that are just completely out there, and you never know what he’s gonna say. He’s got a really good personality. On the other side there’s Greg. A lot of people misunderstand Greg. He’s incredibly funny and a great guy to be around. Super nice guy. The thing is, you will never find anybody that works harder than Greg Anderson. He’s in the shop seven days a week, 365 days a year when he’s not at the track. The guy works on everything at the shop. He’s just going from one place to another working on stuff. And if he could be testing right now, he’d be out making laps right now. He loves to drive.”


OAC: “Do you have a preference for working on the car versus driving the car?”

DG: “Obviously, driving has its appeal. The adrenaline. Not really the glory as much, but the driving and trying to do the best you can. I’m always gonna love that. But working on a car is great, too, especially with what you can learn and the skills you get. I look at a normal job that people have, and I don’t even know if I could do that anymore. This job’s kind of ruined me for that. I get to get up in the morning and work on race cars all day. Even now that I’m driving my own car, I’m still going to be working on it, too. I don’t think I could ever get away from it.”


OAC: “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think most of your drag racing experience to date has been on the bracket racing side, whereas Pro Stock is a heads-up event. From your perspective, what do you have to do differently to prepare for something like this compared with the type of racing that you’re used to?”

DG: “I still feel like I can pretty much take all my bracket racing experience and apply it to the heads-up racing, the only difference being I don’t really need to pay attention to the other guy after we leave the starting line. You know, I still have to do the best I can to cut the best light I can. I still need to make sure I keep it in the groove and hit my shifts exactly the same. One thing that bracket racing taught me is consistency, consistency, consistency. If you do everything exactly the same, then you can throw out variables that could affect everything that is happening during the race. So I think that is something I’ll be able to apply….

“The experience of all those runs of bracket racing showed me that anything can happen that might throw a wrench into your normal routine. I can recover from that with all the experience in bracket racing that I have. So if I go up there, and the car dies right before I pre-stage or something, I feel like I’ll be able to apply the experience and not panic or get flustered. I can just work the problem and get right back into it.”


OAC: “Do you feel like your time spent with KB Racing working on the back end has helped you prepare as well?”

DG: “Oh yeah, absolutely. Not only have I been driving the burnout car for the last few years—which has just a simple 700-horsepower motor in it, but it’s still got the Liberty [transmission] and everything, so that’s direct driving experience there—just working on the car and gaining knowledge about how systems on the car work and everything is invaluable. When you’re driving it, if you hear something then you know, ‘Oh, I might have a weight that fell off a wheel.’ I know exactly what that sound was or what this feels like. Knowing how each thing works on the car just gives you that better understanding of the car when you’re driving it.”


OAC: “I wanted to ask about the specs of the vehicle you’re going to be driving. What can you tell me about the performance characteristics of it?”

DG: I mean, general Pro Stock, our minimum weight’s 2,350 lbs., including the driver. So the cars weigh a lot less, and we have weights that we move around to affect the balance of the car. They have 500 c.i.d. engines that are GM cast blocks and cast heads that we do heavy modifications to. They’re naturally aspirated. It has a single throttle body on the front. I’m not exactly sure of the airflow dimensions of it. It’s pretty big though.

“A Pro Stock engine makes around 1,400 hp…. The body lines on the car are all based off of the Chevy Camaro, the Ford Mustang or the Dodge Dart, but pretty much the majority are running the Chevy Camaro. The availability of parts for the Chevy engine is really hard to beat.”


OAC: “Heading into this first event, what’s your goal? Obviously you’d probably like to win it, but do you have a personal baseline for what you’d consider a successful Pro Stock debut?”

DG: “What I’d consider a successful Pro Stock debut, on my part, is if I go up there and I do my job in a way I feel is up to the level that I need to. You know, I stage shallow in the way that I need to, I have good lights, and I keep it in the groove and hit the shifts. If I do all of that and I get beat, whatever round it is, as long as I do my job correctly I know that the rest will come eventually. So as long as I can do my job, I’ll be happy.”


OAC: “After this Gainesville race, how many more Pro Stock events do you anticipate doing this season?”

DG: “I’m planning on doing four at the moment, but obviously if a sponsor steps up with more money with the intent to run more races, I am all ready to go for a full season if they wanted to. I’ve capped it at four for the moment, just because I know that the fifth race for NHRA is when you’re eligible for Rookie of the Year. So I kind of just want—as my wife has said—to just dip a toe in and see how it feels until I’m ready to fully jump in.”


OAC: “Do you know which ones specifically you’re doing? Have you mapped that out yet?”

DG: “Well, with COVID going on, it makes it a little more difficult, because races have been rescheduled and cancelled. There’s uncertainty in the schedule. Since I’m going to be getting licensed in Orlando, that’s gonna be kind of a warmup before my official debut in Gainseville. I’m gonna run that one, and then right now I have Vegas on the schedule for the Four-Wide in April. I also want to do Indy as well, and then as far as the rest goes we’ll see how the schedule goes.”


OAC: “What’s your plan for the events when you’re not driving? Are you still going to be working on the back end with KB Racing?”

DG: “Yeah, I’ll probably be on the back end of Kyle Koretsky’s car. I’ll take over the car chief duties and making sure that car is 100-percent ready to go when we go up to the lanes.”


OAC: “You mentioned earlier that driving in Pro Stock was kind of a life-long dream of yours. Now that you’re here, what’s your next goal? Have you thought about that?”

DG: “I guess my obvious next goal would be to win a Pro Stock race, and then moving forward after that would be to win a championship, as far as Pro Stock goes. As for personal goals after that, I guess I really haven’t thought about it a lot to be honest.”


OAC: “This isn’t related to anything else we’ve discussed so far, but I have to ask: do you still have your ’68 Chevy El Camino?”

DG: “Yes I do. Actually, just in November, when I went to the final round at Piedmont, that’s what I was driving.”


OAC: “Nice. So, the last time you spoke with OnAllCylinders about that vehicle was 3-4 years ago. Have you made any other changes to it since then?”

DG: “I’m kind of in the middle of doing a few upgrades, but after I won the Sportsman Spectacular at Darlington I kind of took some of my prize money and bought a set of wheels for it. But other than that, that’s pretty much all I’ve done to it—a set of Race Star wheels.


OAC: “Hey, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. So do you still plan on doing some bracket racing in it in your free time? Assuming you have free time now? It seems like you’re a pretty busy guy these days.”

DG: “Yeah, I’m pretty busy lately, but any chance that I get on an off weekend—if we’re not testing, or working somewhere or racing somewhere—and there’s a bracket race nearby, you can pretty much bet I’m gonna be there.”

Tags: , ,

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: NHRA Wrap-Up: Greg Anderson has a Happy Birthday & Hart Wins in Top Fuel Debut at Gatornationals

  2. Terry a knickerbocker says:

    Hi Sadie. Congratulations to both of you on the win by Dallas at 4 wide today.

  3. Pingback: NHRA Wrap-Up: Rookie Dallas Glenn Grabs First Career Pro Stock Victory at 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.