Guest Instructor - Bret Kepner
Bret Kepner has attended more than 3,200 drag racing events since his first, the inaugural NHRA Summernationals at York, PA, in 1970. His drag racing journalism career began at age eighteen with editor Jim Kelly of Super Stock & Drag Illustrated magazine and continued with SS&DI through its demise twenty-two years later. More than fourteen hundred of his manuscripts have been published in sixty-two different publications. He has announced hundreds of NHRA, AHRA, IHRA, and UDRA national events and, since 1984, has appeared in more than eleven hundred television shows as a motorsports commentator on ESPN, ESPN2, SPEED and twelve other networks. In 2004, Kepner picked up photography as yet another “secondary occupation” and has covered over four hundred events for a variety of publications and his BretKepnerPhotos.com website. He was inducted into the East Coast Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Gateway International Raceway Hall of Fame in 2008.
As a racer, Kepner has visited 276 different dragstrips and has competed in everything from bracket dragsters to rental cars. He has earned multiple track championships, major event titles and has held NHRA National Records in Stock Eliminator. Since 1991, Kepner has scored 101 eliminator victories and 36 runners-up in 182 semifinal-or-better finishes. He carries a lifetime round-win average of 74.23%. Since he first competed in a 1966 Plymouth Barracuda in 1976, Kepner has driven sixty-seven different vehicles in competition. In 1997, Kepner began operating a Drag Racing School based at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Illinois, which produced over six hundred graduates in categories from Junior Dragsters to Top Fuel Dragsters including several NHRA Divisional bracket racing champions.
Kepner resides in St. Louis, Missouri, with longtime companion Marianne Schultz and a menagerie of animals including his well-known Flemish Giant rabbits.