Nitro Gregg Lawrence – Driver/Owner
Gregg RacingBorn: 1962Family: Bride- Robbie Height: 6’ 2”Weight: Lots Sweetie: Robbie – Born – YesHome: Salem, Oregon Vocation: Business Owner- Commercial Business Machines, Inc.,
GG-Force Investments, LLC & Gregg Racing, Inc.
Racing Experience: As a Crew Member since 1991. In 1996, Gregg received his Federal Mogul Dragster license and in 1998, his Advanced ET license (Required To Drive The Pro Mod).
Passions: Leading not following. Creating a trend not pursuing one. Being unique, but not gaudy. Effectively marketing products and services via creatively injecting excitement in a marketing program using his “Hot Rod.”
Biography: Gregg’s passion for Drag Racing began early in life. In the late ‘60’s, his father drove a front engine dragster. Of course, all dragsters were front engine in those days. The sights, sounds and smells of burning rubber were the beginnings of the “incurable disease” that Drag Racing represents to him today.
In 1991, Gregg had the opportunity to become a crew member on a Top Alcohol Funny Car. Here, his decision to make Drag Racing a career was cemented. Gregg says, “In those days, I couldn’t afford two ply toilet tissue, but I knew that some day, Drag Racing would be my career.” Beginning with a tool collection that consisted of an old hammer and a rusty “Crescent” wrench, he couldn’t afford all that was involved in having a race team. To maintain motivation toward his goal, Gregg would make small consistent steps, and tell everyone he knew that some day, he’d have a race car and team. He would purchase one or two tools every payday. Predominantly symbolic, these consistent steps did serve to keep him focused on his long range goal. The accomplishments achieved to date speak to his perseverance.
In 1992, Gregg purchased his own business. This is the business he still actively runs to this day – Commercial Business Machines (CBM). As a company that specializes in the sale and service of commercial grade office machines including digital copiers, printers and facsimile machines, CBM has provided Gregg the platform from which he was able to seriously consider building a racing team. Owning his own business also provided many lessons on managing a team of people toward a common goal, learning to manage cash flow and providing service to his customers that exceeded their expectations. These have skills have served him well in the building, literally from the ground up, of a professional Drag Racing operation. Since 1992, Gregg has added commercial real estate to the mix and established another company to manage the leasing of the property to multiple tenants. He named this company – GG-Force Investments, LLC (pronounced Gee’-Force).
Over the years, he had the opportunity to work on many alcohol cars, including in 1995, Rick Henkleman’s Division 6 champion Top Alcohol Funny Car. In 1996 Gregg partnered with Russ Parker in a Top Alcohol Dragster. This was the first car Gregg licensed in. In 1997, Gregg was given the opportunity to drive Dave Henderson’s Pro Mod car which they campaigned together in the West Coast Pro Mod Association (WCPMA) during the 1998 season. Gregg purchased the car from Dave at the conclusion of the ’98 season and this is the car he campaigned through the 1999 season.
In July ’99 Gregg and the team were in Mission, BC, Canada with the West Coast Pro Mod Association. On what was then a career best pass of 6.76 ET at over 203 MPH, Gregg experienced equipment failure and lost his parachutes as soon as they deployed. Not able to stop his Hot Rod in time, he went into the sand trap at the end of the track and hit the safety catch net at over 110 MPH. Although the net stopped the car 10 feet before an embankment leading down to a river, the car was heavily damaged. Gregg was uninjured except in his pocket book. Demonstrating his relentless passion for the sport, Gregg was ecstatic at the news of running a career best, and spent the balance of the day signing broken pieces of fiberglass from the race car for fans. Demonstrating his resilience and perseverance, 30 days and nights of very hard work and $20,000 (highly leveraged) dollars later, Gregg and the team returned to competition at the next race in the WCPMA series in Boise, Idaho.
In 2000, Gregg decided to “step up” in his racing career and struck a deal to purchase the “In-N-Out Burger” A/ Fuel Dragster from Jerry Darien that he and his driver Melanie Troxel had campaigned to a number 2 in the world finish the year prior. Although it was late in the year by the time all of the pieces came together, he and the team did make an NHRA Division 6 race in Medford, Oregon where he qualified number 4 (out of 12 cars that were in attendance) and made it to the semi-final round of competition. During the 2001 Season, he and the team have defeated the 4 time world champion Rick Santos in Boise, Idaho by running a then career best 5.480 ET at 262.77 MPH, setting the track MPH record in the process. They made it to the final round at that race. In Mission Canada, the team qualified #2 (out of 13 cars in attendance) with a 5.385 ET. During Eliminations, they ran their 3rd career best of the weekend, a 5.373 ET at 265.72 MPH.
Gregg won Divisional Races at Woodburn Dragstrip in 2002, 2003 & again in 2012. In 2003, with then Clutch Guy Garrett Batemen renting the Seat for the weekend, Garrrett made it to the Final Round of the National Event in Sonoma, Ca., falling to the eventual World Champion in the Final Round.
After the conclusion of the 2014 Season, Gregg had a Surgery to replace a Disc in his Neck. Fighting ongoing health challenges, Gregg had friends handle the Driving duty for the next several year, including a very successful partnership with Russ Parker of Salem, Or. Gregg & Russ had been friends and had Raced together for decades, so the program ran quite well for the Years that Russ was at the Wheel. Parker made sizeable investments in the Program, allowing Gregg to make performance upgrades to the Car and time to improve his Tuning skills. The combo WORKED, as together in 2019, the Team ran their first ever 5.2 Passes and saw the Car run over 270 MPH. The improved performance allowed the Team to make it to the Final Round at the Seattle National Event that same year.
2020, the “pandemic year” was challenging for all of us in the Sport. The Team tested at Woodburn several times during that year, which proved quite helpful- However, the limited available opportunities to Race meant that there was never a competitor in the other lane all year long.
2021 brings renewed excitement to the Program, as Trevor Larkin is joining the Team as the Driver for the Season. Details of this announcement are on our Home Page, but the “Bottom Line” is that the Team is quite excited to have Larkin on board. He brings Sponsorship from NGK Plugs, Clean Boost Oil and Mechanix Gloves.
Gregg has been working to regain his health and plans on returning to the Driver’s Seat himself this 2021 Season. The plan is to have Gregg Drive at a Night Race that has been held at Woodburn each year for some time now. The “Night of Fire” Event is always exciting, as- well, how can you beat Nitro Flames up to the Rear Wing! WOW!! We can’t wait!!
Gregg has made a long term commitment to the NHRA’s Top Alcohol Dragster class with his Injected Nitro burning Dragster. Owing to the heritage of the car, his passion to succeed and now with the partnership with Trevor, the Team is looking forward to turning on some Win Lights togther and breaking a few hearts. One of the facets of the Sport that Gregg loves so much was summarized in a sticker he saw on (competitor & multi-time National Champion) Joey Severance’s Top Alcohol Dragster that read- “Enimies for 5 Seconds……. Friends for Life!” Ths is SO true! We all go to the Starting Line with our best prepared Car and Tune-Up, each with dreams of crushing our opponent!……… BUT, the moment that we are done for the day, falling to a competitor, we each not only are WILLING to, but HAVE removed Parts from our Car to loan to the Team that just beat us, so as to help them succeed! Gregg Racing is- “Good Times with Great People- At 270 MPH!”
Gregg believes that the best use of his passion is to share the thrill of professional Drag Racing with others via a marketing campaign for a team partner/sponsor. Gregg definitely has the “incurable disease” of being passionate about sharing his racing with others. Those who ask Gregg about his Drag Racing come away with a clear picture of how passionate he is about what he does. They often describe him as “Always Going Mach 9 With His Hair On Fire” or “Up On The Tire” in both his aggressive driving style and in general conversation about his Drag Racing. He loves to share his unique Hot Rod and racing operation.