Like most International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Sportsman racers, Corey Manuel has a job in the real world, and drag racing is his hobby. Doing double duty is common. Driving duel event entries in the same race is also normal, but winning both of them in the same event weekend is a bit uncommon.
But that’s exactly what Manuel did – he races both Super Rod and Quick Rod in the inaugural IHRA Summit Sportsman National Championship. Earlier this season, Manual did the double dip winning the Super Rod Ironman Trophy in the first event of the Palm Beach International Raceway Summit Sportsman National Championship event and the Quick Rod title in event two.
“The beginning of the year started out good at Palm Beach with the double up; everything was going well,” Manuel said. “Since then, we’ve had some luck on our side. We’ve had some mistakes that I’ve been trying to work on. Everything’s still in one piece so I guess that’s the best thing about it. I’m just trying to stay focused and do my thing; hopefully I can go a little further.”
Now with only one race weekend remaining in the Summit Sportsman National Championship schedule, Manuel hasn’t visited the winner’s circle since his Palm Beach triumphs, but he’s third in the Quick Rod point standings just 13 points out of second place. He definitely appreciates the opportunity Summit Racing Equipment has provided in backing this new national competition.
“I do like the new format,” Manual said. “I’ve always wanted to chase national points on the IHRA side throughout the whole year. I’m happy where I am; of course I wish I could do a little better, but as long as I can finish in about the top five, I’d be really blessed and fortunate to do that.
“Summit really enjoys the Sportsman Racer; they know we’re the backbone of the sport – the grass roots racers. I can’t thank them enough for what they do for all of us. They do a lot, and without them, none of this would be possible in IHRA. I thank them for sticking behind us through thick and thin.”
Manuel lives in Winston-Salem, N.C., and graduated from North Davidson High School just south of town in 2015. He earned his certificate in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technology and works at his father’s Winston-Salem HVAC company, Custom Systems, Inc. His father gave him his start in the HVAC business just as he did in racing.
“My father’s raced since he was about 19, and once I came along, I started in Juniors and worked from there on out – it’s an addiction like no other. What’s addictive about it? The question, in my opinion, is what’s not addictive about it. The adrenaline, the competition – you can’t really explain it until you do it. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Article originally posted on — ihra.com/ihra-news/all-news