Gainesville, FL – After a very successful 2017 campaign, Shawn Reed will again be behind the wheel of the Paton Racing Top Fuel dragster for 2018. The Hughes Oilfield Transportation sponsored dragster will make its first appearance of the season at this weekend’s Amalie Oil Gatornationals.
“Last season was a great year for our team,” said Todd Paton, co-owner (and self-proclaimed occasional team drive). “We came out showing we could run low 3.80’s right off the bat and then went on to our first ever Top Fuel semi-final at the Phoenix event. We struggled a bit during the Western Swing, but learned every step of the way. Our crew and our friends figured out the problem, and we quickly got our hot rod back.”
Those friends include some of the best in the business, including the finalists from NHRA’s most recent event in Phoenix, AZ, Bobby and Dom Lagana who work on Steve and Billy Torrence’s cars, as well as Scott Palmer and his team.
For 2018, the team will be running the same car from last season, with a new front half and other updates it received at Morgan Lucas Racing over the winter.
“We’re looking forward to Gainesville,” said Paton. “We’ve got a lot of new parts, and our car chief Mark Morris spent the last week with the Lagana brothers putting the car together at Torrence’s shop in Brownsburg. I can’t wait to see how the car responds to the changes they’ve made. Hopefully we can improve on our 2017 performance and once again have the Hughes Oilfield Transportation dragster going rounds on Sunday. I know Shawn is looking forward to it as well.”
Besides coming off a career-best finish in the NHRA’s Top Fuel standings in 2017, Shawn Reed also won his third Pro Mod Championship in the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series.
“I hope that hasn’t gone to his head,” Paton joked. “In all seriousness, Shawn does a great job for our team, and we look forward to a great season with him and the rest of our dedicated team doing the best we can for everyone that supports us: Hughes Oilfield Transportation, Global Electronics Technology, Capco Contractors, Racepak, MSD, ARP Fasteners, Curtis Speed, Fast Eddie Racewear and Lucas Oil.Obviously, we wouldn’t be able to do this without their support, as well as the many others that help make this dream possible.”
Gainesville is the first of ten NHRA events at which the team will be competing. For a complete schedule, please check Paton Racing’s website at www.patonracing.ca or the team’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/patonracing.
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