David CarrollDavid Carroll, fine-tuning the motor of "Hydro Therapy", has been a leader in drag-boat racing as a driver and owner for many years. (Photo courtesy David Carroll)

Corona, CA (August 9, 2018) – David Carroll still gets the required yearly physical to keep his professional boat-racing license up to date, just in case he decides to scratch the itch and hop back into the cockpit for a competition run.

"I feel like I want to drive, every now and then," Carroll said, before adding with a laugh, "until it came time, then I probably wouldn't want to do it. But I'm perfectly happy tuning and building boats now."

"I just love the sport. I can't get out of it."

Carroll won several championships in various classes during a successful driving career. Now he owns or sponsors multiple race teams on the water, including two that are contenders on the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series.

In the Quick Eliminator division, Carroll's "Electric Freeze Special" driven by Tommy Rice is third in the standings headed into the 8th annual Diamond Drag Boat Nationals, Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri. In Top Eliminator, Carroll's "Hydro Therapy" driven by daughter Mallori Carroll is fourth in points.

It's been quite a career that Carroll has carved out in boat racing, a sport that it's clear he genuinely cares about.

"My passion is boat racing," said Carroll, who also serves as Vice-President of the Southern Drag Boat Association. "I've been very active in trying to keep the ball rolling. It's a tough sport and it's hard to keep finding venues."

The Texas native said he enjoyed his time behind the wheel of various boats, in a career that he estimated to have spanned 12-15 years.. But with a body he says is "all beat up" he's content in helping the sport grow in other ways.

Interest in boat racing began when a young Carroll attended races with his father on the 4th of July in Waco, Texas. Later, he got into drag racing and dirt-track oval racing, but found that the grind was too time-consuming.

"When I moved to Marble Falls (Texas) we started boat racing shortly after I got there," Carroll said. "We were involved in Lake Fest and got to meeting some really good people."

Carroll began racing flat-bottom boats and he started winning. Both his daughters (Mallori and her older sister Shelby) began driving jet skis and boats and winning as well and Carroll established a jet ski instructional class to teach all the youngsters proper boating safety and racing protocol.

"Many of these kids continue racing today in the Sportsman and Pro classes," Carroll said.

Carroll called boat racing a perfect blend of serious competition and fun, family involvement.

"I'm a very competitive person. When we were dirt-tracking, you would work all week long and race every Saturday night and it was just too much," Carroll said. "I was missing out on a lot of family stuff. Boat racing came along and I saw the schedule and thought, 'this is something I can do.' It was only a couple of times a month in the summer.

"It was a family sport. It wasn't consuming your life. It was consuming your summer, but those were mini-vacations we took. As they grew up, both my girls raced. And I can see my grand kids getting into racing in a couple of years, starting in jet skis."

Mallori Carroll, 25, recently earned her first Top Eliminator victory, winning the SDBA Wolf Creek Nationals on Grand Lake in Oklahoma.

"For her first season in a pro boat, she's doing pretty good," David Carroll said. "I don't think anybody thought Mallori would be in the bottom of her class. They all take her serious out there. She's been doing this for a long time. She lives it and breathes it."

The Quick Eliminator boat, driven by Rice (who's raced at the highest levels, including Top Fuel Hydro for legendary owner - Tommy Thompson) is also having a good season, including a runner-up at the John Haas Memorial at Wheatland - back in June. Carroll said that Rice "brings a lot to the table" in a lot of areas.

"He's a very knowledgeable guy, growing up in the sport himself, both racing and tuning the boat as well," Carroll said of Rice. "We both have learned a lot from each other and are having fun.

"Then Gary Watson helps on Mallori's boat and he really loves the sport, too. I bought a jet ski that I put his son on and his family comes to the races."

Sustaining boat racing at a high level clearly is important to Carroll, who is willing to reach beyond his own teams, with sponsorship, to make it viable.

"I've been fortunate and able to keep the ball rolling for some guys who could maybe not get there, if they didn't have a little help," he said. "My love and passion for the sport is huge."

David Carroll's racing teamThe team celebrating Mallori's first win in a pro boat (left to right) Crew Chief - Gary Watson, Mallori Carroll, Mom - Deb Carroll, Grandson - Layton Pipenger, Dad - David Carroll, Granddaughter - Pacey Underwood. (Photo courtesy David Carroll)

Championship chases on the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series will resume Aug. 31-Sept. 2, with the 9th annual Diamond Drag Boat Nationals at Lucas Oil Speedway.

Advance tickets are on sale for the Diamond Drag Boat Nationals at by contacting Lucas Oil Speedway Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 282-5984 or my email at Fans also can go online to purchase tickets.

Weekend schedule:

Friday and Saturday
7 a.m. - Registration opens
8 a.m. - Spectator gates open
9 a.m. - Round 1 Qualifying (Sportsman session)
10:30 a.m. - Round 1 Qualifying (Pro session)
12:30 p.m. - Round 2 Qualifying (Sportsman session)
2 p.m. - Round 2 Qualifying (Pro session)

8 a.m. - Spectator gates open
9 a.m. - Eliminations

***All times are tentative and subject to change without notice.

Admission prices
Ticket prices (All tickets include access to Drag Boat pit area):

General admission (6 and over) $10
Kids (5 and under) FREE
3-day general admission $50
3-day seniors (62 and over)/Military $44
3-day youth (ages 6-15) $20

Saturday (includes admission to dirt-track racing on Saturday night)
Adults (16 and over) $25
Seniors (62 and over)/Military $22
Youth (ages 6-15) $10
Kids (5 and under) FREE
3-day general admission (16 and over) $50
3-day Seniors (62 and over)/Military $44
3-day youth (ages 6-15) $20

Adults (16 and over) $25
Seniors (62 and over)/Military $22
Youth (ages 6-15) $10
Kids (5 and under) FREE
3-day general admission (16 and over) $50
3-day Seniors (62 and over)/Military $44
Kids (5 and under) FREE

For more information and to buy tickets please visit the 8th Annual Diamond Drag Boat Nationals event detail page.


Dan Robinson
Interim Series Director, Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series
Office: (417) 282-5984

Upcoming Events


Lucas Oil World Finals

@ Chandler, AZ

Television Schedule

Saturday, October 20
4:00 PM
Sunday, October 21
3:00 PM
Sunday, October 28
3:00 PM