Todd Knight came oh so close to victory at his first Red CentreNATS in 2019 and is now preparing to fight for what he hopes will be his breakthrough event victory at the 2021 instalment across September 3-5 in Alice Springs.
Knight will be a part of an action-packed drag racing line-up when the Garrett Advancing Motion Heavy Hitters hit Alice Springs Inland Dragway on the Saturday evening of the event.
“The 2019 event was the first Red CentreNATS for us and it was the first time the Heavy Hitters concept was introduced and I was honestly a little nervous,” Todd said.
“With an electric atmosphere, the crowds, fireworks and huge screens, I was overwhelmingly gob-smacked. The Red CentreNATS Staff and Track Officials did an awesome job for all the cars to have such a quick turnaround to enable the event to run like clockwork.
“The heads-up racing, I feel, is the best drag racing around, which this event was. Winning all three rounds within 7.04-.06 we ran the finals and crossing the finishing line first, I was ecstatic and fist pumping the roof with joy.
“I was on a high until I saw Simon Daley’s crew cheering that he had won. That was when I realised I ran too fast by six thousandths of a second – I plan to not make the same mistake again!”
With such high praise for the 2019 event, it is no surprise that Knight is expecting big things from this year’s Red CentreNATS aboard his record-breaking 2004 Wally Stroupe built Pontiac Grand Am.
“I just love the location, the atmosphere, the diversity of the event, the inclusion of the whole community, the weather – everything!” he said.
“Alice Springs Inland Dragway is an awesome facility too. The layout of the track provides great viewing for the spectators, and the venue has good proximity to the town. The staff and committee are also welcoming, approachable and always willing to go the extra (quarter) mile.
“This year my goal is to kick some serious arse! Winning would be good, it would be great to come home with the prize money and not to break-out again, but whatever happens we are always there for good times.
“To prepare I have pulled out some power from the car to make the ET for the 7.0 bracket – afterall, I do not want a repeat of the 2019 event when we ran a 6.994 in the final!”
Knight heads to Red CentreNATS off the back of an impressive comeback performance at the season opener for the 2020/2021 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series – the Top End Nationals at Hidden Valley Dragway.
At that event, held in July, Knight raced to the runner-up spot in the Top Sportsman class.
“The Top End Nationals was the first time we had raced in two years, and with unknown unleaded fuel,” he explains.
“We had seven personal bests and had the fastest ET during the two days of racing which was amazing. Taking out the Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier Medallion was also a bonus and to come away with the Runner-Up was a huge achievement for the team.
“All of my family and Keelan Peck are a part of the team, but we would not be as successful as we are without the help of our Crew Chief Joab Coyne – he has so much knowledge and commitment in making the car fast and reliable and we would be lost without him. My thanks goes to him and all of the team, as well as our valued sponsors Peckys Performance, Darwin Access Service, Darwin Carpets and Vinyl and Alice Springs Choices.”
The Saturday evening of Red CentreNATS will feature an all-out horsepower showdown with the Garrett Advancing Motion Heavy Hitters taking centre stage at Alice Springs Inland Dragway.
Racers in five car classes from 7-11 seconds and one bike class will be looking to take home a serious chunk of change from the $37,000 prize pool.
Next level drag racing under lights against a background of fireworks with some of Australia’s best drag racers battling it out for the title is a fan favourite for anyone who’s been to Red CentreNATS before.
For more information, visit www.redcentrenats.com.au
For more from ANDRA, visit www.andra.com.au