Baldwin Begins Top Fuel Season with McLeod Racing, Lucas Oil Sponsorship

Krista Baldwin will begin her second season of Top Fuel Dragster competition in Gainesville, Florida at the Gatornationals and welcomes McLeod Racing and Lucas Oil back as major marketing partners, the driver and new team owner announced.

With a new year, the former Chris Karamesines dragster entry has a new look for the 2022 season. Baldwin plans to make an 8-10 race schedule across the country with the NHRA Camping World Series, the driver said.

“Over the course of my rookie year, I have learned how much it really takes to make this nitro beast go down the track,” said Baldwin, third generation Top Fuel driver. “From travel logistics, to cost, to crew, to learning how to drive the car, and knowing what I can build on. I am confident that I will run more 3.80’s this year. But I know what my part conditions are and what my budget is. And I have to be mindful of that.”

Over the winter, Baldwin has acquired the entire operation of her grandfather, Chris “the Greek” Karamesines.

“I tried to convince grandpa to continue to be the owner, but he wasn’t going for it. He said that I needed to learn how to operate a team, which is true,” Baldwin said. “He will continue to come to the races and guide me as I continue my season. We are still on the phone every day talking about how to make the program better.”

For the increase of races for 2022, Baldwin has secured McLeod Racing and Lucas Oil to continue their tenure with the team, who are joined this year by Composite Specialties, CP Carrillo, Snake Enterprises and IGTG.

“Paul Lee has been such a big supporter in my racing efforts. If it weren’t for him and his support, I’m not sure if I would be where I am right now. And Lucas Oil have been like family to my grandfather and I. And I’m very excited to continue our marketing partnership over the next year,” said Baldwin.

Baldwin will also race with an updated scheme for 2022.

“As most of the fans know, I have a ton of custom Vans shoes that I wear out at the track. And my cheetah print shoes are my favorite. I knew I needed to stand out from my competition,” said Baldwin. “It makes me smile that I have the ability to be in Top Fuel and have the opportunity to express my personality in a fun way. But the wrap is one thing, wait until you see the Composite Specialties injector on the car. Let’s just say I’m keeping with the ‘Golden Greek’ vibe.”

Baldwin is excited to be back in the driver’s seat. As always, she will be racing with her best friends and family and “we’re here for a good time, not a long time.”

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at

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