Jeremy Martin's Holden VB Commodore became a crowd favourite underdog at No Mercy 9 on the weekend, one of the world's biggest radial tyre races.
After qualifying into the field at 18th position with his first ever three second pass, Martin proceeded to upset Tim Slavens in a tight 3.93 to 3.94 race, before claiming a massive scalp in the form of Mark Micke - the world's quickest radial racer – when Micke spun the tyres and Martin shot away to a 3.94 win.
That took Martin into a Sunday appearance against Alex Laughlin, better known for his efforts in NHRA Pro Stock. Martin again gave his all but Laughlin's 3.78 was just too good despite Martin's 3.90/204mph personal best performance.
“We had some fast cars, a tough slog,” he said. “It was the weather that hurt us, because it knocked all our qualifying runs out. We should have been qualifying with that hit there.
“But we have done ourselves proud and we are glad to be here. I hate losing but that's the way it is. It was a PB, we have chipped away at it every pass. Josh Ledford (tuner) has been doing amazing as always. We had really good speed on that one, we keep finding little things and keep changing and it is going faster.
“If we had another ten hits - I think the car has only got seven or eight radial hits on it - who knows where it would be. Proline, Fueltech and Hunter Kitchen King got us here. You surround yourself with the best people and good people who want you to succeed and this is what can happen.”
Wade Wagstaff was not as fortunate as Martin, going out in the first round when he buzzed the tyres on the hit against Bryan Markiewicz. It was a pedal fest to get down the track but when the blower belt came away from Wagstaff's Noonan Hemi the race was over.
“Someone had to win and someone had to lose, I am still stoked to be here,” Wagstaff said.
“I spoke to Donald (Long) and he said we can possibly do some exhibition passes later tonight, if not tomorrow.
“We will come back in February. It's a lot better weather; not as hot. We will put a C-rotor supercharger on it and step it up a bit more, trying to go 80s and then 70s.”
Jarrod Wood reached the second round in X275, driving the unique Bill Schurr/Kevin Mullins-owned Jeep grand Cherokee. A big power wheelstand unfortunately ended his night under lightning-filled skies.
Drag News Magazine editor Luke Nieuwhof spent the week on secondment to Street Machine Magazine, putting together a video series from the No Mercy race. Check them out below!