TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER’S SEVERANCE TALKS ABOUT HIS HAT TRICK
Winning one NHRA world championship – in any class – is tough.
Taking home three world titles in a row is a different level.
Well, that’s the level Joey Severance is at now.
Severance won his third-consecutive Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Drag Racing Series world championship in 2017.
“We had another good year,” Severance said in a Jan. 16 interview on WFO radio. “It was a lot of hard work to make it work again and we had another lucky year. I think I felt more relieved with the third one just because maybe there was a little bit more stress and everyone was probably gunning for me a little more because I had two (in a row).”
Severance finished the season with 744 points to edge Shawn Cowie (734) and Megan Meyer (669) for the NHRA crown.
Despite his dominance in the class recently, Severance remains humble.
“A lot of it is the people we hang around with it,” he said. “Jim and Annie Whiteley and Jamie and Renee Noonan and East West clutches helped out a bunch and C&J Transmissions, everything has worked really good together. It’s kind of a neat deal to have the success we’ve had. It is definitely all due to the family and the people I hang around with.”
Severance acknowledged it wasn’t clear sailing to his third title this past season.
“We had some struggles through the middle of the year, parts failures and we actually felt like we were doing kind of crappy, but we were still ahead in the points and things obviously worked out OK,” Severance said. “We’ve been doing this for 14 to 15 years I think, and my dad (Joe Severance Sr.) started racing Pro Comp back in 1976, and he has a lot of experience and that’s definitely a big bonus. At the end of the year, I do a lot of math (in regards to the points standings) to just try and figure out scenarios and in the end, I just try to tell myself it is going to be what it is going to be and whether we win or not I’m still pretty lucky to do what I do and be around the family and receiving my family’s support is a pretty neat deal.”
With the 2018 season on the horizon, Severance knows a four-peat will be no easy task.
“There are a lot of fast cars out there and at any given moment they can step up,” Severance said. “We’re definitely going to go for it early and go to Pomona and Vegas and Phoenix. We actually took the car out (Jan. 13) and rolled across the street to the dragstrip (Woodburn (Ore.) Dragstrip (a track Severance manages). We made a 60-foot shot just to see where we were. It’s handy to have a dragstrip right across the street and the weather was cooperating so we made a pass. Our plans are to go for the (2018) championship at the beginning of the year and I guess if we are doing bad in the middle of the year, we might cut back on a few, but to begin with we will go after No. 4.”