Shane Tucker knows he has the horsepower to run against the best teams on the NHRA circuit, and the pride of Australia's Gold Coast hopes to prove that fact on the dragstrip this weekend when he unleashes his Auzmet Architectural Camaro at the seventh annual NHRA Carolina Nationals.
"In Pro Stock, horsepower always shows up in your top speed," Tucker said. "Two weeks ago in Indy, we had the second-fastest car in the first round of eliminations. The only person faster than us was the guy we were racing.
"This is a great problem to have, actually, because most of the time teams are trying to find horsepower. We've already got a great powerplant from Elite Performance and that showed on the scoreboards.
"Now we need to adjust the car properly to fully utilize the horsepower these motors are making."
Charlotte will mark the ninth NHRA race of the year for Tucker, who travels back and forth between the U.S. and Australia to compete. However, despite racing a part-time schedule, he has proven himself capable of beating anyone in the category, as witnessed by his semifinal run in Chicago, which included a victory over then-points leader Erica Enders-Stevens.
"We run the same motors as Erica and she's a top contender for the Mello Yello championship this year," Tucker said. "I think she led the points for 13 of 18 races in the regular season, so we know all the pieces are in place for us to succeed as well.
"It's up to us to see how much trouble we can make for the title contenders. We'd love to help out Erica down the stretch if possible, but the main focus is to win rounds ourselves and put this Auzmet Architectural Camaro in the winner's circle. I believe it can be done, and our performances have shown the potential of that throughout the year."
Tucker's driving skills won't be an issue as he has already proven his mettle Down Under with numerous wins and a runner-up finish for the Australian National Drag Racing Association title in the Aussie version of the factory hot rod class.
"I feel pretty good with my driving," Tucker said. "Obviously, the more seat time you get the better you are, but considering we have a bit of a stop-and-start thing going I've been very pleased. Coming off a race in Indy as we head into this weekend will certainly help. We'll be ready to go."
After this race, Tucker will return to Australia for a month before coming back to the States and finishing the NHRA season with races in Las Vegas and Pomona, Calif.
Auzmet Architectural Pro Stock driver Shane Tucker is excited about his chances at the NHRA Carolina Nationals after posting the second-fastest run in round one in Indy.