Englewood Man on the Fast Track in Drag Racing

November 17, 2023 at 3:55 p.m.

By Chris Cameron

While most of Englewood is focused on the OPA World Championships during Englewood Beach Waterfest and the power boats racing 150+ mph, that is life in the slow lane for a young Englewood man, who is building a career racing Top Fuel Dragsters which accelerate from 0 to 300 mph in three to four seconds.

Meet 19-year-old Cody Krohn, who was born with the love of racing, inherited from his father, Rich Krohn, a veteran drag racer. Cody grew up here in Englewood and graduated from Lemon Bay High School in 2022. He first raced at Bradenton Motorsports Park, where he won his first title in Junior Dragsters when he was just eight years old.

Cody continued to race his family’s dragsters and built a Nostalgia Front Engine Dragster with his dad in 2018. At age 16, he attended Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School in Gainesville, FL. Frank Hawley is a National Hot Rod Association World Champion driver, with nine national championships. Driver training involves both classroom and on track time. He earned his licenses in Top Alcohol Dragster and Nostalgia Top Fuel that year and Top Alcohol Funny Car in 2020. Through continued hard work and practice, at 18 years old he earned his Top Fuel license in February, 2023, making him the youngest professionally licensed driver in the NHRA.

Cody Krohn

Along the way, he racked up some impressive wins. Besides being the Junior Dragster Champion when he was eight, the following year he took home the championship at Bradenton Motorsports Park. Then, in 2021, he was runner up in the National Hot Rod Reunion in a Nostalgia Front Engine Dragster and returned the following year to win the National Hot Rod Reunion in Bowling Green, KY.

Although Cody has competed in several different classes, Top Fuel is his love. Top Fuel refers to the type of fuel that the dragster uses – a supercharged, nitro-burning formula, that boasts 11,000 horsepower. These dragsters race a straightaway course of only 1,000 feet, and accelerate to speeds of 330+ mph in 3.7 seconds. A parachute deploys to stabilize and slow the car. Needless to say, there is a feeling of dis-association as the brain struggles to process the speed and the driver experiences a force of 5Gs. Part of Cody’s training involved learning to handle that brain disconnect and to think instinctually and fast.

The weekend of September 29 through October 1, Cody made his Top Fuel debut driving for 3-time world champion Larry Dixon at the NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis, MO. Although he didn’t bring home the win, it was quite an honor to drive for such a distinguished racer and he gained invaluable experience.

Cody has the motivation and drive to succeed with his dream. One big plus in his favor is the full support of his father, Rich, his mother, Luci and his sister, Katie. His father has shared his drag racing expertise and taught Cody to know his way around engines and the mechanics of cars from a young age. Team Krohn is behind Cody all the way!

The 2023 season has come to an end and Cody is looking forward to next year. He had two sponsors this year, Rio Energy and JBS Equipment, and hopes to secure more for next year’s races. Here in Englewood Cody has his own business, By Design Detailing LLC, which provides mobile auto & marine detailing service. He works hard and saves his money to pursue his passion of drag racing. “I want to make nitro racing my full time career,” Cody states. When he is not racing or working, he enjoys hunting and fishing.

If you would like to learn more about Cody, visit his website, codykrohnracing.com, or his page on Facebook or Instagram. To inquire about sponsorships, email [email protected].