DRAG WEEK fired up for the fourteenth time today, with 375 wild street cars sweltering under the Georgia sun on Day One at Atlanta Dragway. Very few ran personal bests with the temps in the high 20s/low 30s and the humidity at 70-percent. Despite the oppressive heat the Aussies all did well and left the track under their own power. You can check out the rest of the field here, but for now, let’s look at the Aussies.
West Australian John Faraone was number one for the Aussie cars with the twin-turbo big block Charger reeling off a 7.55-seconds at an insane 194mph on his second pass. The first run smoked the tyres on the start line for a very reasonable 8.21 at 190mph.
Mark Arblaster hit the staging lanes early with his VG Valiant Hardtop, but only made one pass before he decided to hit the road. The turbo 5.3-litre struggled to come up on boost in the high heat and humidity but Arby still managed a 9.82 at 147mph timeslip.
After replacing a dud fuel injector yesterday Harry Haig and the guys had the Chevelle ready to make a pass. Terry Seng is back on the Chevelle crew this year and he’s been swinging spanners constantly over the past couple days to make sure the orange beast runs its best. Harry was all over his lane on his only pass of the day. Nevertheless, the Chevelle went 8.89 at only 146mph. When we left the track the guys were trying to fix a split waste gate diaphragm.
Robbie Abbott and Dan Nissen were working on the Malibu wagon to repair its blinkers yesterday and today and finally look to have the problem sorted. The mild 396ci big block pushed the green wagon to a 14.08-seconds at 95mph on its only pass today. The guys are hoping to dip into the 13s so they can beat the 14.0-second that the Chevelle ran at Drag Week 2015 when it was running a 396-cuber.
After a massive day yesterday, where they had both the intake and oil pan off the blue Fox body Mustang, Jamie Farmer and Kev Morton hit the start line with some giggle gas and fired off a 12.09-second pass at 104mph. The guys seemed pretty happy with that effort and hit the road straight away.
Ross and Brenton Gault ran their first ever pass with their freshly built ’55 Chev and with Brenton behind the wheel the light blue Chevy ran 11.54 at 116mph. The father and son duo are only hoping to do one pass at each track this week.
Brian Jensen laid down a massive burnout before his pass but he might have cooked the tyres a little too long because the LX Torana hatchback fried the tyres at the start line. The Queenslander managed a 10.94-second time at 136mph before the rain came down.
The Skid Factory team of Benny, Alan and Woody had quite a long wait in the staging lanes before they had their chance to shine. The Barra-powered Toyota Cresta is still a long way from its best with a 9.80 at 145mph, but the heat and humidity is really affecting the turbo cars. If we get some cooler temps later in the week, look out!
Richie Crampton and Jonnie Lindberg decided to pull the 1957 Chev wagon from competition yesterday, insteadelecting to do exhibition passes for the next few days. Ritchie reckons the car is not quite ready for the full Drag Week torture test, so instead of trying to struggle through the 1000mile road course they’re going to tow it to every track and keep working on it.
There was also a bit of a licencing issue. Richie has a Top Fuel dragster licence, but apparently that doesn’t make him safe in a tough doorslammer! On the other hand Jonnie is a Funny Car pilot so he’s taken over driving duties on the meantime. The ’57 Chev wagon had everyone on site watching as it cranked out an easy 8.39-second time at just 134mph. We have no doubt it’ll go sevens this week.
Unfortunately the rain came down just after lunch time and that killed any chance the racers had of improving their times. Hurricane Florence is making plenty of people nervous and it looks like it’ll hit South Carolina later in the week. Hopefully that doesn’t cause too much trouble to the Drag Week racers. In the meantime, we’ll try and stay dry.