PASO ROBLES, Calif. --
Tue, 30 Dec 2014, 11:54 AM
Nitro Crew Chief Ronnie Swearingen Joins Nelson Racing
Courtesy of Darr Hawthorne
Don Nelson, owner of the California Hustler 1977 Pontiac Firebird nitro funny car, announced today
that veteran crew chief Ronnie Swearingen has joined the team in their quest for the 2015 NHRA Hot
Rod Heritage Series Championship.
California Hustler nitro funny car driver Robert Overholser
and 2014 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage series winning Crew Chief Ronnie Swearingen
join together for
the 2015 drag racing season.
In making the announcement, Nelson said of Swearingen's addition to the head tuner position, "I've
gotten to know Ronnie over the past racing season, he's a winner and that is the company we want to
be in. He's got a great history in the sport of professional drag racing as well as tuning the
Championship winning funny car, I'm excited!"
Most recently, Swearingen was crew chief on Dan Horan's Patriot Mustang nitro funny car, winning
the 2014 NHRA Heritage Series Championship. The team won three events in the Championship season,
racing to eight final rounds in eleven events since joining the team in 2010. He also tuned nitro
funny cars for KC Spurlock in the 1990's to multiple event wins, set NHRA national records there
and tuned top fuel dragsters for Vandergriff Racing as well as a stint in European drag racing.
Second year California Hustler driver Robert Overholser finished third in 2014 NHRA Hot Rod
Heritage Series points, said of the change, "I'm thrilled about Ronnie coming aboard, we get along
really great. When I was a kid I watched him on TV, while he was tuning in the NHRA "Big Show". I
was after Ronnie all this year and thanks to Don Nelson, he is now my crew chief! He's got some
new ideas for us and has already made major changes to the car. I can't wait to get behind the
wheel and stand on the throttle!"
Wanting to remain in California, Swearingen has completed a move from Los Angeles to be near the
team's shop in Paso Robles, a smaller town near the Central Coast. He's already begun to make
improvements and go over everything from the ground up, the cool Kenny Youngblood designed paint
scheme on the Firebird's carbon fiber body and the Victory Racecars chassis will remain the same.
The California Hustler team begins testing Swearingen's new combination in February prior to the
57th Annual Good Vibrations March Meet on March 5 - 8 at Auto Club Famoso Raceway and has
tentatively set a ten-race schedule for the 2015 season. They'll finish the season in October at
the 24th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion.
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