■ THE ISENHOWER NAME is strong in the . 90 classes in NHRA ’ s premier Sportsman series , as Indiana natives Nick Isenhower and younger brother Devin have been bringing a 1-2 punch to both Super Comp and Super Gas . Devin got a jump start in racing big cars by a handful of years , and once Nick joined the quest , he wasted no time in reinforcing that the family name is not one to be taken lightly .
“ I ’ m just coming off my third year in a big car and my second season running the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series , so to be nominated for the Drag Illustrated 30 Under 30 list is truly a surprise ,” says Isenhower , whose brother was a 2018 honoree . “ The past couple years , our family racing team has seen some tremendous success running the NHRA events , which we ’ re very thankful for , but being recognized by Drag Illustrated for some of this early success makes it even more meaningful .”
The eldest of the Isenhower brothers was not terribly interested , initially , when it came to drag racing , but it only took a couple of times watching Devin race a Jr . Dragster before Nick knew it was something he was powerfully drawn towards as well . He joined his brother in the Jr . ranks , and down the road , college and getting his career off the ground held him back from graduating immediately to big cars . In 2020 , Nick finally entered the world of Super Comp in a second family dragster , and after a runner-up at the St . Louis divisional event that year , he made his NHRA national event debut at the fall race in Las Vegas .
At the very next national event in which he competed – the prestigious NHRA U . S . Nationals in Indianapolis – Nick earned the coveted trophy .
“ I ’ m definitely proud of that accomplishment ,” he said earlier this year . “ My brother did it in 2018 , and I wondered if I would ever be able to win that race . We know the track well , so it was extra special – for one , because it was the U . S . Nationals – but it was also an eight-round race . Most of the people I race against have been doing this a long time , so to go the extra round and get the win was awesome .”
Nick continued to shine at his very next national event , the Midwest Nationals in St . Louis , where he accomplished the incredible feat of going back-to-back with wins in the intensely competitive , well-populated Super Comp category . So far this season , he ’ s won Super Comp twice at the division level and debuted a brandnew Super Gas Corvette roadster at the U . S . Nationals . In its debut , the Dean Mcilvain-built roadster scored Best Engineered honors , and Nick raced it to the semifinals at an eight-round division race in St . Louis to close out the season .
“ It ’ s very special to share the 30 Under 30 title with my brother . Our team has put in countless hours and traveled from coast to coast ( from North Carolina to California ) chasing a Sportsman national title ,” says Nick . “ Even though I haven ’ t achieved that goal yet , it ’ s very humbling to know our dedication is not going unnoticed .” – KELLY WADE DI
104 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 179