Division 5 Lucas Oil Comp Eliminator Champion To Try His Hand At NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series

Competition Eliminator, by its very nature, is a developmental division for Pro Stock competition. This weekend, one of its finest players will leap into the major leagues. 

Kansas-native and Competition Eliminator front-runner Will Hatcher will make his debut this weekend during the NHRA Heartland Nationals. He will drive Deric Kramer's American Ethanol 2017 Dodge Dart;  the car Kramer parked in favor of a KB Racing-powered Camaro. 

This opportunity, Hatcher believes, is a prime example of preparation meeting opportunity. 

“I’ve dreamed of driving a Pro Stock car as far back as I can remember,” said Hatcher. “It feels a little surreal. I can’t wait to get out there and give it my all. There are so many people supporting me and making this opportunity possible. I’m beyond grateful and blessed by God. Hopefully we can make them proud and have a lot of fun out there. It’s especially cool that I’ll get to work on the car side-by-side with my dad. Racing has always been a family sport for us.”

Heartland Motorsports Park holds special significance for Hatcher as the setting for his first victory in Junior Dragster as well as his first event win in Comp Eliminator. It feels almost serendipitous that his first competitive pass in Pro Stock should take place at this historic track."

Hatcher, a second-generation Competition Eliminator racer, has been active on the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series since 2003. He ascended through the ranks from Junior Dragster to Comp, winning last year's NHRA Div. 5 title. 

Hatcher earned his Pro Stock license in 2012 and was approached by the Kramer Family about driving their parked car. 

“To be a Kansan, racing in the state capitol at an iconic Kansas track and sponsored by Kansas businesses, is truly an honor,” said Hatcher. “Fry Eye Associates, Billy’s Blue Duck BBQ and Conestoga Energy have been so generous in their support of this endeavor. We have such an incredible community in southwest Kansas. I’m excited to represent them this weekend.”