Sportsman drag racing icon Dan Fletcher joined perhaps the most exclusive club in drag racing on Sunday at the Fallen Patriots Route 66 NHRA Nationals when he earned his 100th career national event victory, becoming just the third driver in history to reach the century mark.
Twenty three years after earning his first national event title at Columbus, Ohio with a defeat of another sportsman standout, Greg Stanfield, in 1994, the Churchville, New York racer crossed the 100-win threshold, doing so on Sunday in Chicago with his triumph in Super Street — a category he had only won in on the national event level once before in his career. Fletcher defeated a red-lighting Greg Ventura, who became the 90th different final round opponent Fletcher has ousted on his path to 100 career wins.
Fletcher joins only John Force (148) and Frank Manzo (105) as racers to reach 100 national event victories, doing so in 150 final round appearances in six different categories (he’s won in Competition Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, and Super Street).
“When I started I never thought one win was possible, much less 100,” Fletcher told National Dragster’s Kevin McKenna. “In my first final round, Greg Stanfield was gracious enough to turn it red for me, and I’d have never thought that 20 years later I’d still be at it. When we were getting ready for the final, I wasn’t nervous at all. I wasn’t thinking about 100 wins. I just wanted to get a win. It was that simple; I just wanted to win. Period.”
Fletcher has won at least one national event every season since 1994, when, after collecting that first crown and sweeping the Western Swing, quit his day job and became a professional sportsman drag racer. He reached a career-high in 2012 with nine national event victories.
Fletcher has remained a pillar in the sportsman ranks and is one of a dying breed of racers who still call drag racing their profession—thanks in large part to his continued success year in and year out.
“Really, my greatest achievement is that I’ve been able to support my family and raise three children by killing my own food at the race track. I haven’t had to walk into corporate America in over 20 years to earn a check,” Fletcher shared with us last year as he closed in on his 100th victory. “Another big achievement for me is that I’ve won two NHRA national championships in Super Stock, one in Comp, and won multiple divisional championships. Then there are the other things that I’ve wanted to check off my list, like winning in Super Comp, which I did this year. I want to hit that 100 NHRA win mark obviously as my next big career goal, for sure.”