About Thurston Racing

Driver Bio: Cole Thurston

Cole Thurston
  • Name: Cole Thurston
  • Age: 33
  • Hometown: Fallon, NV
  • Resides: Long Beach, CA
  • Race Experience: 15 years
  • Favorite Sports: Drag Racing, Motocross, Water Sports
  • Occupation: Oil Refinery Fire Fighter
  • Marital status: Married

Coming from a racing family, Cole grew up at the races. As a child when he wasn’t at the boat races with his father (Tom) he was racing motocross. At the age of eighteen, Cole started his transition from dirt bikes to drag boat racing and earned his professional competition license. Through his early twenty’s he drove for his father’s race team, and later found himself as a Crew Chief for his father, as well as a close friend’s team. In all they won a total of sixteen races, two championships, and set numerous national records. In 2004 Cole’s father stepped out of the seat of the family race boat to give Cole the chance to drive full time. In 2011 Cole had his best season to date. Competing in 4 races, Cole went to 2 final rounds, won 11 rounds of competition and won the prestigious Napa Auto Parts World Finals.

Boat Specs:

Cole Thurston
  • Owners: Tom and Cole Thurston
  • Class: Top Alcohol Flatbottom
  • Hull: Magnum Boats by Thurston
  • Engine: Brad Anderson Enterprises, Chrysler Hemi
  • Safety Capsule: Magnum Boats by Thurston
  • Weight: 1850 lbs.
  • Propeller: Menkens Racing
  • Horse power: 2500 hp
  • Fuel: Methanol
  • Safety: Simpson Racing, Lifeline Racing Equipment
  • Top Speed: 160 mph


Thurston Racing’s goal for 2013 is to secure additional funding and compete at all Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series events. Currently the team has committed to racing all five of the West Coast events with a tentative schedule of traveling to the June Wheatland and San Angelo rounds.

The Top Alcohol Flatbottom class is above all the most exciting form of racing on water. With exotic hulls, state of the art engine configurations and the most elite drivers, this class is the most competitive of all drag boats. These boats are capable of traveling the 1,000 foot liquid drag strip in less the 5.2 seconds at more than 160 MPH. To race at that magnitude, a driver with lighting quick reflexes, excellent equipment, and a team that has the dedication and pure determination to win at all costs is required. Building on the strong performance gain shown at the season ending World Finals it is a fact that Thurston Racing has the entire package to succeed in 2013.

The Thurston Racing Team has been boat racing since the 1950’s. They are now the youngest and most driven team in the sport, comprised of second and third generation racers. Leading the team is the powerful father-and-son duo; Tom and Cole Thurston.
Tom, the team Owner has more than forty years of drag boat racing experience from not only driving and winning races himself but also building and fabricating all aspects of a drag boat. With his son, Cole, now in the driver seat these two have won numerous races and awards, set national records and built some of the fast flatbottom drag boats in the world together.

If Thurston Racing’s past achievements have any indication as to what the future holds 2013 is going to be an exciting season.


Tom Thurston: Owner and Crew Member, Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Tom is Cole’s father and together they have been racing for 32 years. Tom is an electrical contractor by day but his passion has been in drag boat racing since his early teen years. Having built and raced some of the quickest and fastest flatbottoms in the world, Tom has numerous records and race win to his credit. On race day Tom is responsible for hull set up, underwater gear, and strapping Cole into the safety capsule.

Cole Thurston: Owner and Driver, Long Beach, California

Cole not only drives the family race boat but he is also an active crew member. Assisting with all aspects of the team, Cole also works side by side with crew chief Russell Oshio with all tuning decisions.

Russell Oshiro: Crew Chief, Torrance, California

Russell is a well know figure on the drag boat and nostalgia drag car circuits. Having grown up around the drag strip Russell has numerous wins and championships as a crew chief. Russell is the former crew chief for Eddie Knox Racing and their two time world champion Top Fuel Hydro, Problem Child.

Cliff Campbell: Crew Member, Las Vegas, Nevada

Cliff is one of the top motorcycle mechanics for action sports; he has worked for the some of the most well known extreme sports motorcycle athletes in the world. As a performance boating enthusiast for much of his life Cliff enjoys off weekends at the lake driving his own beautiful flatbottom. On race weekends Cliff is responsible for the right side of the engine and boat as well as video taping all of the boat races.

Matt Manha: Crew Member, Fallon, Nevada

Matt is Cole’s cousin and together they grew up at the races. Matt owns and operates a landscape design company and on the weekends is a avid motocross racer. Traveling to as many races as possible with his cousin, Matt is Thurston Racings team rover as he can perform most all maintenance tasks on the boat. Matt is also the race day tow truck driver, its not uncommon for matt to unload and load the race boat 8 times in weekend.

Danny Passmore: Crew Member, Long Beach, California

Danny has been an active Thurston Racing crew member since 2005 and on race day he is responsible for the left side of the engine and boat. Danny also assists in building and servicing the engine and boat between events at the race shop. Danny is a graduate from Universal Technical Institute, where studied auto mechanics and high performance engine building.

Shane Westerfield: Crew Member, Long Beach, California

Shane has a long history in all forms of racing, getting his start in Jr. Dragsters he moved to Go Carts and into Porsche road racing. In 2004 he and his father began racing drag boats and in 2008 the won the Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Flatbottom world championship. Shane has since moved back to asphalt drag racing were he competes in the extremely competitive Top Alcohol Funny Car class.


  • Third place in the World Championships, 2005
  • Set national elapsed time and M.P.H. record in Red Bluff, CA May, 2006
  • Reset national elapsed time record and won the event in Dexter, OR July, 2006
  • Finished as runner up in Marble Falls, TX August, 2006
  • Recorded quickest 1/8 mile time for a Pro Gas Flatbottom San Diego, CA, September 2006
  • World Finals Event champion in Phoenix, AZ November, 2005
  • IHBA division 1 and 2 World Champion runner up, 2006
  • IHBA division 2 Pro Driver of the Year, 2006
  • Acted as Co-Crew Chief for the 2008 Top Alcohol Flatbottom World Champion, Team All Lit Up
  • Thunder in the Channel, Top Alcohol Flatbottom Runner up, March 2011
  • NAPA Auto Parts World Finals, Top Alcohol Flatbottom Winner, November 2011
  • Personal best time of 150 mph at 5.23 seconds in a 1,000 foot course, November, 2012
  • Number one qualifier at Lucas Oil World Finals, November, 2012

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