Paul Richards Racing
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 29, 2012) – NTB/Service Central Top Fuel dragster pilot Dom Lagana and the family-based Paul Richards Racing team have set up shop at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown in preparation for the upcoming 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals and what will likely be a very special weekend.
For the Lagana family, the event is a time capsule sending them back to the days when patriarch Bobby Lagana Sr. laid roots for his family in the drag racing community, bringing along his children as he match raced on Wednesday nights at Raceway Park against drivers such as Chuck Etchells, John Force, Shirley Muldowney, and many others.
“I spent a lot of my childhood at that track,” said Lagana. “It was so close to where our shop was here in New York – it was just an hour and a half drive over the George Washington Bridge, and there were always a lot of good times there. I remember terrorizing the pits on my bicycle, riding around and having a really good time.
“We’ve raced there a million times, but last year I had the opportunity to drive the car for the first time at our home race, and that was really cool. It’s a beautiful track, and it feels so homey. Every time you pull up to the track or walk around the grandstands, you just have so many memories. The best part is that we have a really good fan base that started a long time ago with my dad, and they all love that our family team is still out there. It’s always cool to meet people who have been following my dad for all of those years.”
The senior Lagana wheeled the well-known Twilight Zone entries in the 1970s before trading in his Funny Car for a Top Fuel dragster in the early 1990s. Dom's brother, Bobby Jr., took over the reins of the Top Fuel car in the late 1990s, and Dom began driving in 2009. Continuing the family theme and adding to the excitement of racing in Englishtown is that team owner Paul Richards is the son of Gary Richards, another East Coast match-racing barnstormer in the 1970s and 1980s.
“You definitely won’t be able to miss our pits,” said Lagana, who last competed in the Full Throttle Series at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta. “There will be lots and lots of family and friends, and it’s really a neat deal because for a lot of people, this will be the first time they’ll get to see what we do. Hopefully, now they’ll be able to understand why we gallivant around the country and sometimes miss Thanksgiving or Easter dinner.”
The Richards/Lagana cohorts have been finessing a new tune-up this year, and although the Atlanta event wasn’t as successful as they had hoped for, they feel that they are getting a handle on what the car wants in different conditions.
“We’re looking forward to getting back to racing our NTB/Service Central dragster. We got to make a run at a match race over in Martin, Mich., a couple of weeks ago and we made a really good run, so we’re feeling pretty good. We’re ready to get to work in Englishtown, and I can’t wait for the first run on Friday.”