Second-generation drag racing star Mike Dunn joined ESPN in 2002 as analyst for the network’s coverage of NHRA drag racing. The California native, son of Hall of Fame racer “Big Jim” Dunn, was a 22-time NHRA national event winner while driving.
In his career, Dunn won 10 times in Funny Car between 1981 and 1991, and 12 times in Top Fuel between 1993 and 2001. Along with six-time world champion Kenny Bernstein and four-time champion Don Prudhomme, Dunn is one of only three drivers to score 10 or more wins in both Top Fuel and Funny Car competition.
His best season as a driver came in 1991 when he ran the entire NHRA series for the first time, contended for the championship and won races at Memphis, Columbus and Denver en route to third in the standings. His biggest win came in 1986 in the prestigious U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. He had another three-win season in 1995, and then scored four wins in 1999, the same year he was selected as the recipient of the Car Craft Top Fuel Driver of the Year.
Dunn set several speed records in his career, including breaking the 280 mph barrier in a Funny Car in 1987 and making a 297 mph pass at Houston in 1992 which at the time was the fastest speed in the history of the sport. In 1994, he was involved in the first side-by-side 300 mph race against the late Blaine Johnson at Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania.
In his final season as a driver, Dunn went to five final rounds and won twice. But with no rides available in 2002, he signed with ESPN on a one-year contract, but extended after the first season and has remained in television ever since.
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