Nineteen year-old Buddy Perkinson is bringing a new energy to Cunningham Motorsports in 2011. Perkinson has brought with him a fresh start, qualifying his Pro Stock Ford Mustang for the first two races of the season. Perkinson talks about his background and being mentored by Drag Racing legend Bob Glidden.

BUDDY PERKINSON – Cunningham Motorsports Pro Stock Ford Mustang –CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE START TO THIS YEAR? “The work these guys have put in, I shouldn’t be getting the credit for. The guys at the shop, they’re the ones working hard, they’re the ones working as a team. Bob Glidden is leading us in the right direction and that’s what has turned it around for us.”

BOB GLIDDEN WAS IN THE CAR LAST YEAR FOR THE US NATIONALS. HE’S NOW THE CREW CHIEF AND HE’S BEEN REALLY MENTORING YOU. “Absolutely, I met Bob about two months ago in Bradenton, Florida when we went to do some test sessions. He sat me down in the car probably for thirty minutes and went over everything. I moved things, I moved pedals, I moved the parachute lever and we worked over and over again, pass after pass getting me comfortable in the car. He’s been more than a mentor. Without him, we would have struggled for sure. Just from a driver aspect, he brought me along so fast and got me so ready for Pro Stock.”

THIS IS YOUR FIRST YEAR IN PRO STOCKS? “I actually ran Super Comp as soon as I turned 17, and then I ran Comp Eliminator when I turned 18 in Nationals and Divisionals. Last year I ran Comp Eliminator all year long.”

YOU’VE ONLY BEEN DRAG RACING FOR TWO YEARS? “No I actually started drag racing when I was nine in Jr. Dragsters. My parents and my uncle have actually been racing since I was born. I was that little kid at the race track pushing around a little battery charged car trying to put fuel in it. I guess you could say that it’s in my blood. As soon as I turned nine I got me a Jr. Dragster and won my first race when I was 10 and have been hooked every since. When I turned 16, I told my Dad that I was done with the Jr. Drag series and it was time to move up. I guess you could say that my whole career, I mean, it was a dream of mine to run Pro Stock, but we did everything we could to get me in the right position, meeting the right people to just be able to one day run in Pro Stock.”

HOW TOUGH IS QUALIFYING IN THE PRO STOCK SERIES? “In Pro Stock everything is so tight. Let’s say there’s a 100 percent on every run, well you have to be at least 99 percent on every run in order to win in our class. There has to be no errors, no driver, and no crew error. It’s so scientific and so close with drag racing. We’re talking about having a thousandth of a second separating winning and losing a round. In my opinion Pro Stock is probably the closest drag racing class that there is.”

-source: ford racing