Blake Peavler’s milestone year ends in Top Dragster World Championship


Blake Peavler was reportedly the first to admit that he did not enter the 2021 Top Dragster season presented by Vortech Superchargers with championship aspirations.

The 28-year-old Olney, Ill. Native reportedly called the year a massive success with his first career NHRA victory. He had grown up on the track watching his father, but Peavler was still waiting for this defining moment in his career.

Well, that wait is officially over after enjoying a season few could have predicted. Peavler not only won his first race, but he also added two more and went on to win a world championship, ousting a number of big names to finish the year in the lead.

“It’s still pretty crazy,” Peavler said. “I can’t really believe it. I never really had much success, so it came out of nowhere.

Within a matter of months, Peavler went from being an unknown to a household name in the Top Dragster ranks, winning a championship at a young age and opening up a world of possibilities for the rising star.

He’s still in pinch mode, but things have undoubtedly turned out almost perfectly for Peavler. The defining moment certainly came at the National Trail Raceway just outside Columbus when Peavler won the prestigious JEGS NHRA SPORTSnationals, claiming his first victory in a national event.

He beat Tyson Fabish in the Championship round with a reaction time of 0.013 and a run of 6.412 seconds, and it’s a moment that still makes him smile.

“It was the first win I have of any kind. It was surreal, ”Peavler said. “We started the year unsure of how we were going to do it, and we won a few rounds at Norwalk just before Columbus, but winning this race was completely unexpected. The fact that we were able to bring a Wally home was just crazy. It’s something we’ve always wanted to do.

The car got even better and Peavler kept the momentum going, extending his winning streak to 10 with a victory in the division race at Indy. The team made a converter change at that point, taking an already consistent car to another level.

It was evident at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, where Peavler had five wins and a second victory. Part of Peavler still had a hard time figuring out what exactly was going on, and the other part of him started to take a look at the points standings.

What once wasn’t even a thought was now coming true as Peavler moved up the points rankings.

“National points have never really been a thought on my mind before those two wins,” said Peavler. “When we won the Indy division, that’s when we knew the car was phenomenal.”

He added a quarterfinal berth in Earlville, Iowa, then earned his third victory of the year, winning the St. Louis divisional race in early October. The season had already far exceeded any expectations he had, but things got really crazy after St. Louis’ impressive victory.

“Winning there, that’s when it got real,” Peavler said. “We were just spending the time of our lives. We suddenly planned to go to Bristol, Rockingham [Dragway], and Las Vegas, and it was pretty amazing. You sort of had to pinch yourself and ask if this was real.

It wasn’t a dream, however, and Peavler handled it all with impressive determination. He’s never been held back by league pressure or the busy end-of-season travel schedule, which is impressive considering this was his first time in the title mix.

But two weeks after his victory in St. Louis, he advanced to the semi-finals of the NHRA Thunder Valley National Championships in Bristol. He returned home to work for a few days, then hit the road again the following weekend – returning through Bristol, oddly enough – to compete in the division event at Rockingham Dragway.

It turned out to be the deciding race, as Peavler advanced to the final round. The car broke in the last heat, but it was still a good performance and allowed him to take the lead in points.

“It took a lot of preparation, but the most important thing I learned is that you can’t take out rounds,” said Peavler. “Every round means something, and when you’re chasing points you have to be on top. “

Two weeks later, Peavler traveled to Las Vegas, hoping to keep Bradley Johnson at bay. Johnson was carrying out his own charge late in the season in hopes of winning a second consecutive world championship, and things got even riskier when Peavler fell in the first round.

It led to what he jokingly called “the least fun I’ve ever had in Vegas on a Saturday,” but Johnson narrowly fell in the second round the next day. This gave the championship to Peavler, who admitted he was “shocked by what just happened”.

“The light of his victory didn’t light up, and that feeling of knowing you had won the championship was just amazing,” said Peavler.

The surreal feeling hasn’t gone away yet, and Peavler is anxiously awaiting the moment when he can put the “1” sticker on his dragster. With the spotlight suddenly on him, he has no intention of changing his approach, relying on a consistently performing formula and car that has led to the most special racing season of his young career.

“We discovered the car this year. Once we got the right transmission and converter setup the car was deadly, ”Peavler said. “It gave me a lot more confidence to drive. It took a little while, but we did chain a few wins, and knowing that you have a car that is going to beat the numbers, it just gives you a lot of confidence.

Peavler also thanked his team leader and fiancé, Jillian Schnepper, his father, Al, and his mother, Lana, American Race Cars, Joe Hessling at Advanced Product Design (APD), Marco Abruzzi, who provides the transmission and converter. from Peavler, Hoosier Tire, VP Racing Fuels, ProCharger, Lucas Oil, NGK Plus, Moser axles and rear ends and Goethe CVD transmission.

Blake Peavler review

578 points

Summit Racing Equipment Nationals NHRAQuarter-finals
Summit Raceway Motorsports Park (Division 3)Quarter-finals
JEGS SPORTSnationalsEvent won
Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis (Division 3)Event won
Tri-State Circuit (Division 5)Quarter-finals
World Wide Technology Raceway (Division 3)Event won
NHRA Thunder Valley National ChampionshipsSemi finals
Rockingham Dragway (Division 2)Finalist

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