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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Jim Dunn Celebrates 50 Years
in Drag Racing at Englishtown

By Christi Lewien, motorsport.com

LOS ANGELES (May 11, 2000) - Jim Dunn's Mooneyes/Red Line Oil Pontiac Firebird will arrive at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park for the Spring Supernationals with a special design to help commemorate Dunn's 50th year in the sport. The new paint scheme is part of a celebration package that will include a collectible piece from Action Performance Products, gold crew uniforms and a one-race gold helmet for driver Al Hofmann.

"You only get one chance to celebrate a 50th anniversary and we decided that we had better do it right," explained car owner and crew chief Jim Dunn.

"It's like I said last year when we decided to go with Al (Hofmann) as our driver, we wanted to go all-out to win this year and so far we've pulled out all the stops.

"We'll take the car to Englishtown for a one-race deal and hopefully the fans will like it. The new paint may not make our Mooneyes Firebird any quicker or faster, but I think everyone will like what they see."

Jim Dunn is one of the original pioneers of NHRA Drag Racing. He began his career in 1950 as a competitor when the popularity of the sport was just starting to take hold on local strips throughout Southern California.

Over the years, Dunn has accumulated numerous wins and held performance records as both a driver and a crew chief. He won the 1972 Supernationals in Ontario, Calif., the 1981 World Finals in Irvine, Calif., and was runner-up at the 1981 U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. He finished 10th in the NHRA Winston Funny Car standings in 1981.

After retiring from driving in 1990, Dunn's career continued to flourish as a respected crew chief, technical advisor, and car owner. He wrenched cars to numerous victories throughout the decade including the 1998 Pontiac Excitement Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, and the 1999 U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.

Last October, Dunn announced that Al Hofmann would drive his Mooneyes/Red Line Oil Firebird in 2000. With the dynamic personalities of the two veteran racers, many thought the relationship wouldn't last. But nearing the halfway point of the season, both Dunn and Hofmann feel extremely fortunate for the opportunity to work with each other.

"I wish I'd done this ten years ago with Jim (Dunn)," Hofmann said. "I really enjoy racing with him; he's a great person to be associated with. I couldn't ask for a better deal going right now. The main thing is I have so much confidence in Jim as an owner and he has an excellent crew working for him. I know we can make the allotted time in between rounds, have the confidence to go in and not worry about qualifying and be focused on winning a race.

A 50th-anniversary cake will be presented to Dunn in the McMullen-Argus suite during Supernationals weekend, and both Dunn and Hofmann will be signing autographs at the Mooneyes souvenir trailer on the NHRA Manufacturer's Midway between qualifying sessions.

 

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