- 0 Item
Growing up in Southern California, the birthplace of Top Fuel racing, Bob Vandergriff Jr. was surrounded by racing since he was a baby. His father, Bob Vandergriff Sr. was the Advertising Director for the NHRA's National Dragster publication before purchasing industry legend Hedman Hedders® in 1978.
Vandergriff attended the University of Utah, where he majored in business. After graduation, he began his career in the business world, first serving as the National Advertising Director for Super Chevy Magazine and then relocating to Georgia, where he served as Vice President of the Atlanta Dragway. Here, Vandergriff got his first taste of racing down the quarter mile, entering his 15-second, 80 mph company car in one of the track's bracket races. Vandergriff lasted five rounds, eventually losing in the semi-finals. He was hooked.
With the need for speed firmly in place, Vandergriff began working toward his goal of one day driving a Top Fuel dragster. His search eventually lead to signing a major sponsorship agreement with Fruit of the Loom® four weeks before the season-opening Winternationals in 1994.
With a contract in hand, Vandergriff decided it was time to see if he could actually drive one of the 7000 hp beasts. The month-long odyssey began with a trip through Frank Hawley's drag race school, followed immediately by licensing runs in a borrowed Top Fuel dragster. When asked about his first time in the car, Vandergriff admitted, "It scared me to death. But, I was so far along in the process, I had to continue." Vandergriff completed his licensing requirements in his own dragster, just three days before the season began.
The 1994 season proved to be a valuable learning experience and the up-and-down season culminated in Vandergriff being named the NHRA Rookie of the Year. The next few seasons provided many firsts for Vandergriff, including: first final round appearance in 1995, first number one qualifying position in 1996 and in 1997 starting a string of NHRA Top Ten finishes which continued through the 2000 season. In 2011, Bob won the Texas Fall Nationals in Dallas, Texas. With this first win under his belt, Bob sets his sights for multiple wins in 2012.
• 2011: Won Texas Fall Nationals Race (Dallas, TX) and runner-up at the Summer Nationals in Topeka, KS.
• Marital status: Married