Wayne Dupuy joins Joe Amato Racing

EXETER, Pa. (March 19) -- Up-and-coming crew chief Wayne Dupuy has joined Joe Amato Racing effective immediately. Dupuy joins Jimmy Walsh and clutch specialist Bob Bauer in the braintrust of the Amato camp, which fields the Bilstein Engine Flush...

EXETER, Pa. (March 19) -- Up-and-coming crew chief Wayne Dupuy has joined Joe Amato Racing effective immediately. Dupuy joins Jimmy Walsh and clutch specialist Bob Bauer in the braintrust of the Amato camp, which fields the Bilstein Engine Flush System/Keystone/Valvoline Top Fuel dragster in NHRA competition.

"These cars have become so advanced that it takes a collective effort to make them into championship contenders," said Amato, a five-time series champion and the sport's all-time leader in Top Fuel victories with 52 national event wins. "Wayne Dupuy is a very talented young guy who really hasn't had a chance to show what he's capable of with a big-time team. He just became available so we snatched him up.

"It's an exciting time for us. We really feel Wayne can help take us to the top level of the sport where we can mix it up with Kenny Bernstein, Larry Dixon, and the rest of the championship-contending teams. You can never have enough brainpower around. You look at all of the best teams and they all have a group of talented people at the top."

The son of retired NHRA Director of Competition Lynwood Dupuy, Wayne first attended drag races as a small boy when his father owned and operated race tracks in Baton Rouge, La., Atlanta, and Houston. Once he became old enough to compete, Dupuy began bracket racing Top Sportsman Motorcycles, posting respectable career-best numbers of 7.66 seconds at 181 mph. But by the mid-1980s, the intricacies and challenges associated with tuning race cars took over and Dupuy found a home on the working end of a wrench.

Dupuy first assumed the mantle of crew chief on an alcohol-powered dragster. A year later, he already had graduated to the elite racks of Top Fuel racing where he worked the bottom end of NHRA legends Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta and Gene "Snowman" Snow's dragsters. Literally working from the bottom up, Dupuy was a crew chief within two seasons and soon after won his first race when he tuned Tony Mack to the 1989 Top Fuel title in Bristol, Tenn.

Success has come both on and off the track for Dupuy ever since. Guiding the likes of K.C. Spurlock, Cory McClenathan, Phil Burkart Jr., Todd Paton, Jim Epler, Cristen Powell, Johnny Gray, and Don Lampus, Dupuy has helped every driver he's worked for achieve personal best elapsed times and top speeds. He's celebrated numerous victories along the way and watched many of his drivers collect top-10 finishes in the points standings in both the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes.

Proving his commitment to being the best tuner possible, Dupuy even took time to earn a competitor's license in both nitro-powered categories just so he could further comprehend what his drivers were trying to tell him about their 4.5-second, 325-mph passes down the quarter-mile strip.

"We're all thrilled to have Wayne on board," said Marty Yacoobian, owner of Bilstein Engine Flush Systems. "From Joe, to Jimmy and Bob, to every member of this team, including myself, we all want the same thing -- to win the POWERade Championship. I firmly believe Wayne will help us achieve our goals that much sooner."

-rg/jar-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Jim Epler , Joe Amato , Cory McClenathan , Phil Burkart , Johnny Gray , Don Lampus , Cristen Powell