They call themselves the Straight-line Strategy Group and yesterday at the 2018 PRI Show they dropped some massive news on the world of NHRA drag racing. The group which includes Scott Gardner, Doug Stringer, and other partners now has interest in Clay Millican’s top fuel car, Paul Lee’s return to drag racing as a full time funny car racer, Matt Hartford’s NHRA pro stock car, which is also running the full season, Jeff Lutz, and motorcycle racer Janette Thornley. Additionally, it was announced that veteran NHRA marketing and sales guru for John Force Racing, Steve Cole will serve as the Sr. Vice President of Marketing and Sales.
Outside of the obvious “woah” factor of what all this means, there is a load of positive news here. One is that Clay Millican and his car have more infrastructure and operation around them, two is that the pro stock class has another committed full time car in Matt Hartford, and thirdly Paul Lee is coming into the fold as another full time nitro funny car and he’s brining Jim O back with him.
The team will remain in its Illinois home, it will not relocate to the nitro capitol of the world, Brownsburg, Indiana. They have opportunity down there and they actually like the fact that they are not in with everyone else. It works for the Kalitta operation as well, so why not?
The team has recently been advertising on social media for crew help after David Grubnic’s departure…the whole team left with him. According to sources with the team, they received more than 500 resumes and have begun putting the right ones on the top of the pile.
The inclusion of Lutz and Thornly is cool because its diversifies the team out in a major way. Helping to expand their reach and scope with marketing programs that undoubtedly they will be pitching to potential sponsors and advertisers.
We love the fact that Lee is coming back and adding a full time funny car to the pile!