NHRA Competition Eliminator Feature: Tony Terry
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 16, 2017) – Division 2 racer Tony Terry has become a predominant fixture in the NHRA since the 1980's and continues to compete almost four decades later in the prestigious NHRA Competition Eliminator class.
“I originally started out Super Stock racing in the early 1980’s,” Terry said. “As a Super Stock racer, I always admired Comp because it was as close to being in a pro class as I probably could get because I’m not able to be gone as many
weekends as the professionals are. I also admired the technology that goes into the Comp class.” Terry noted that Comp veterans like David Nickens and Mike Edwards were the catalysts to him entering the class.
“I gotta say, people like Nickens, Edwards, and all those guys were the ones that got me excited about Comp racing and I ended up buying my first Comp car in the early 1990’s,” he reminisced. “I started out with a Street Roadster and that was a fun little ride.”
Terry went on to race a Super Modified car and a Jerry Haas-built F/AA Chevrolet Cavalier in the class. In 2011, he built the Chevrolet Cobalt he now races.
“There is a certain prestige racing Comp and that’s why I wanted to start racing the class,” he added. “My wife always says you should dress for the next level and that’s how I approach my business life and racing. Super Stock racers are good racers but I wanted to move myself along to that next level and that was Comp.” When he’s away from the racetrack, Terry finds success in the Volkswagen and Subaru dealership he owns in Lynchburg, Virginia. “I bought the dealership in 1985,” he said. “I started out selling cars and saving up my money and some gentlemen I knew owned a dealership and wanted me to buy it. They gave me an opportunity to buy part of it and two and a half years later, I bought them out. It’s been really good to me and I’ve got some really good people working for me.” The Forest, Virginia-native acknowledges that his trust in his great staff at Terry Volkswagen Subaru allows him to go play at the racetrack during the weekend. “Without my people, I really wouldn’t be able to race like I do because they give me the freedom to leave on Thursday and not come back until Monday,” he acknowledged. “I figure I put in enough time in the early years to do that now. I trust the people that work for me.”
Above all, Terry credits his wife as his biggest support system. “My wife, God bless her,” he said. “She never gets upset when I go racing. She doesn’t come as much as she used to but it’s great to have your better half understand what you do and what your passions are.” Almost four decades into his sportsman racing career, Terry has not lost the love he has for drag racing and Comp Eliminator.