Dave Armstrong sent his AA/Fuel Dragster down the Sydney Dragway quarter in just 6.01 seconds at the Nostalgia Drags – the quickest ever ET for the breed.
AA/Dave as Armstrong more commonly know as surpassed Norm Longfield’s record.
“Yes, we believe this is the quickest ET for a front engine dragster in Australian history,” said Armstrong.
“Norm ran a 6.08? Several years ago but he hasn’t gone that quick since – Norm has higher MPH.”
Racing for 30 years with 18 of those behind the diff of a FED, Armstrong as been mixing nitro for the last seven.
Nothing is easy running with nitro in the tanks and there have been plenty of trials and tribulations along the way – even on this day.
“It was an up and down day, our first two attempted runs didn’t get past the burnout due to issues getting the clutch set right,” he said,
“We have been steadily creeping up on this ET over the last few years. I switched from the old blue Sandman FED to this new Mean Streak FED in 2013, and on debut ran 6.7 at 232mph which was the fastest FED mph at that time – the car was geared tall, hence the monster burnouts that day.”
“In September 2016 our PB was 6.20. Since then, and leading to the 6.01, we dropped the nitro from 91% to 88% and increased the mag advance a couple of degrees. There is still heaps more left in the tune.”
On the 3rd pass during the Nostalgia Drags event it all came together for Armstrong. The FED hauled off the line with a 1.053 short time, at half track clocked 3.968 at 195.28mph, and crossed the stripe at 9500rpm for a 6.01 at 232.83mph.
The Mean Streak FED was bought as a roller from Garth Hogan and Peter Thompson who ran it as an A/Fuel car. The nitro Donovan from his previous FED was dropped in and Armstrong customised the car with bigger tanks, driver position and the like to suit his needs.
The chassis itself is a 225″ Spitzer built FED with full magnesium body panels, Mark William rear end and tanks by George Bukureshliev. The nitro guzzling engine is a 392ci Donovan cast block with Mastodon heads, 8/71 street blower with a Hilborn Shotgun hat, Enderle pump and Mallory points mag. All that power is transferred to the track through a old 11″ Crowerglide clutch connected to a two-speed air-shifted Lenco.
“Nitro racing is hard work – time, effort, dollar and it doesn’t always go to plan,” said Armstrong.
“We can only afford to race a couple of times a year, so we don’t get many opportunities to test or try new things. So progress takes a while. But I love it, and wouldn’t do anything else.”
And of course AA/Dave’s crew of George Bukureshliev (chief). Tony Wilson, Phil Tucker, Tony Arkley, children Jodi & Matthew and also helping on the day was Lez Herst from N.Z. are invaluable.
Video of the run by Madman Productions.