If sportsman drag racing icon Jeff Taylor has proven himself to be one thing besides a great driver, it's his versatility. With this said, he and team owner David Nickens are parking their cutting-edge BB/Altered Dodge Stratus and racing this weekend's NHRA Division 5 event at Flying H Dragstrip with a B/Dragster Automatic entry.

While some might double-take at the notion of Taylor stepping away from a doorslammer to run a rail, remember that the 50-plus-time NHRA national event winner has raced and won with a Super Comp dragster. 

"I've probably made more runs on a dragster than I have a door car," Taylor admitted. "I had two dragsters in the late '80s and early '90s, and I bracket raced them every weekend. And then, I won two Super Comp national events. I think it's the right thing to do."

Taylor said he needed to make a change heading into the fifth and sixth stops on the Rooftec Competition Eliminator Bonus Fund schedule. In losing ground in the points chase for the series championship and its lucrative shootouts, Taylor said the BB/Altered car wasn't cutting the mustard right now. 

"It's under construction," Taylor said of the new to 2024 combination. "It's getting a five-speed. We can't compete with [the automatic] right now. Plus, we'd be giving up a 250-pound weight. It would be another two weeks before the five-speed arrived. But then you add another thing into the fire we already had, a clutch, to work on every run. It just made more sense to go with the dragster this weekend."

The dragster Taylor and Nickens are running with J & A Services sponsorship, is the final car to roll out of the Mike Spitzer chassis shop. Going to a rail is not a spur-of-the-moment thing, as it has been on their radar for a while when the BB/A car first entered the fray. 


"The dragster has been an ongoing thing," Taylor said. "When I hit B/Altered Automatic index last year, we sat down over the winter, and we said, 'Okay, we got to have at least two classes to run them, in case we get beat up in one, what are we going to do?" 

"Everything change we discussed was $150,000 or $200,000 worth of motors to change. We believed the BB/Altered gave us the best chance. Even though we had to change motors, cubic inches, and stuff like that, besides, it's hard to get parts. So we had all of our B/AA engine stuff, and it just made sense to put it in the dragster."

Taylor and Nickens spent much of last week working on the car and took it out to the Texas Motorplex for a few test hits to dial it in. It was the first time Taylor had been in a dragster since 2015. 

"We run in the ballpark of Chase [Williams] and [Adam] Hickey ran at Dallas [divisional], and we're right there running as good as they run. I think we can run strong in the back half. We're heavier than them, so to run as fast as them in the eighth mile's going to be a chore because we're freaking 200 pounds heavier. The initial numbers lookare going to be competitive. It has never been to the finish line in the quarter-mile."

Taylor lamented that the team has yet to qualify in the top half of a field this season but believes this weekend provides them with a better chance. 

But, for him, there's already a lot to like about running the dragster.

"I really liked it. I like the vision. You can see good," Taylor explained. "I hit the tree pretty good in testing, so I like it. Like I said, it's not like I had never driven a dragster. I made at least 3,000-5,000 runs in a dragster in my career. So I know what they feel like. And this thing, I can't believe how good it drives, and handles, and stuff. I haven't been 200 yet, but it's coming."