Aussie Mike Ward runs 7.54 seconds at Drag Week

The only Aussie entrant at Hot Rod Drag Week 2023 is kicking goals

Photographers: Matt Reekie

While we normally see at least a handful of Aussies competing in Hot Rod Drag Week, this year our only representative is Mike Ward from Perth.

Mike’s first taste of Drag Week was in 2018, when he rode shotgun with local Tom Franks to win the Street Race Small-Block Power Adder 8.50 index class.

Mike was then determined to have a shot himself and fronted up last year in the ex-Brian Macy 1963 Chevy Nova. This time, Tom Franks acted as co-pilot, and the pair won Street Race Small-Block Power Adder again, but were disqualified for having an illegal bumper bar!

This year, Mike not only has a legal front bar, but has refreshed the driveline throughout. The engine is a 427ci deal based on a Dart LS Next block, with All Pro heads, a Callies crank and alloy rods. Turbos are twin 80mm Garrett G43-1450 items, with an air-to-water intercooler. ECU is a Holley Dominator. Behind the LSX is a Reid-cased two-speed TH400, with a PTC converter and the obligatory nine-inch diff.

The chassis runs stock-style front suspension, a leaf-spring rear, Menscer shocks and ARB sliders. Tyres are M/T 275 Radial Pros and front-runners, fitted to 15×10 and 15×3.5 Welds.

And so far, the lads are killing it, setting a new PB of 7.54 seconds at 185mph at Rockingham Dragway. A big step from their previous best of 7.79 seconds. Go hard, lads!