Alex Laughlin will be racing the Gas Monkey Energy Drink Top Alcohol Dragster at this weekend’s 48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, but the Bluff Dale, Texas, native says he’d be just as happy in a go-kart at Daytona, a Legends car at Volusia, or even a piece of farm equipment at the annual Tractor Pull in Ocala.
“What can I say? I’m a racing junkie,” Laughlin said. “I love it all. Heck, if someone has a boat I’ll race that thing too. I just love to compete. I love to go fast. I love the thrill of it all.
Laughlin had a breakout season in the NHRA Pro Stock category last year, winning his first national event in St. Louis and taking top qualifier honors in Denver. In his first full year in the class, he narrowly missed making the playoffs, finishing 11th overall in the Gas Monkey Energy Drink Chevrolet Camaro.
He plans to be back in Pro Stock later this year, and possibly race in Top Fuel and Pro Mod as well, but for now he’s driving a Morgan Lucas Racing-built Top Alcohol Dragster with Anthony Dicero.
“I get asked a lot what my goal in racing is,” Laughlin said. “I don’t really have an answer other than to say I want to race whatever I can whenever they’ll let me.
“We should have a good car this weekend. We ran the regional event here last weekend and got some good data so we’ll be better prepared. I really like the car and the horsepower. It’s a lot of fun to drive. We’ll go out there and do our best and see what happens.”
Like many before him, Laughlin’s love of racing began with his father Kenny, who raced go-karts in the past but currently competes in the NHRA’s Comp Eliminator class.
“I’ve been racing go-karts myself since I was 9,” Alex said. “I still race them. I have six karts and we still race Daytona KartWeek between Christmas and New Year every December. They’re pretty cool karts. They go like 125 mph.
“I went from karts to Legend cars when I was 14 and raced those for three years. At the same time I raced Super Comp and Top Dragster. Then we got into tractor pulling. Me and Dad have fun together.”
Laughlin recently helped his title sponsor, Gas Monkey Energy Drinks, participate in a made-for-TV reality show drag race where the stars of Gas Monkey Garage went up against the crew of
“For now, we’ll focus on the Top Alcohol Dragster and see if we can’t shake some things up over there this weekend.”