Spotlight: Johnny Drama—In the trenches with energetic and successful car chief Johnny “Drama” Maguda

Written by Jason Reiss

Photography by Steve Baur

Whenever you ask someone where they’re from, you’ll get a response about where they grew up, or where they currently live. If you ask Johnny “Drama” Maguda that question, you’re likely to get a simple answer: the drag strip. We’ll get into why his nickname is Drama later, but first, let’s learn a bit about why he’s considered by many to be the ultimate crewmember in the heads-up racing circles.

Originally a North Jersey boy—he hails from Parsippany, just a short trip across I-80 from The Big Apple—he’s currently based out of Florida, but is rarely there often enough to really call it home.

Drama worked for so many race teams in the big-dog world of outlaw-style racing that it’s impossible to choose one where he’s had the most success—from the likes of NMRA and X275 star Manny Buginga to Fiscus/Klugger Racing to Mills Racing and others. One thing is certain; Drama is the last crew guy to go to bed when maintenance and repairs are required for race-day prep.

However, his expertise does not stop at providing wrenching talents; Drama’s unique background allows him to understand the complexities of motivating a race car—and driver—into the winner’s circle on race day.

That background includes time spent behind the wheel of several different drag vehicles, but rather than spoil the fun, we’ll let him drop the details of what makes him so special. He’s high-energy and high-powered, driven by an intense desire to be the best of the best in any given situation.

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