Aussie update from Hot Rod Drag Week

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And then there were four. The pressures of Hot Rod Drag Week are taking their toll on the Australian contingent but they continue to plow onwards towards the final day. Drag News’ US correspondent Keith Burgan had this update.

Brian Jensen’s Torana did not make it to Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis for the fourth day of Hot Rod Magazine’s Drag Week but two of the surviving Aussies turned in outstanding performances.

John Faraone had torched a cylinder head on his Valiant Charger at Norwalk on day two but luckily had packed a spare and was able to make repairs and get to US 131 in Michigan in time to make a run to keep the car in competition. Running on empty with very little sleep, he simply drove the car down the track there but at IRP he uncorked a stout 7.657 at 182.80mph. He made a second attempt late in the final session but the belt drive fuel pump hub stripped some threads and he rolled to a stop early in the run. A slow run the day before hurt his average and he is currently ninth in the Unlimited class standings where Jeff Lutz leads with an incredible 6.177/241.225 average in his Pro Mod/Street Camaro.

Harry Haig and his group are faring better with their “field find” Chevelle, which they ran in basically stock form last year. Now with a braced nine inch rear end, fabricated control arms and a twin turbo big block the crowd favourite is placed fifth in the Street Race Big Block Power Adder category and today’s 8.770/159.63 shot has put them within striking distance of Walt Herr’s Camaro as their 8.89 average trails his by just .02. Haig is handicapped by the fact that the car is only certified to 8.50 and although it has the potential to run quicker he needs to avoid a disqualification for running too quickly. The team only arrived in the US on Monday of last week and the car was a bare shell at that time so they have done extremely well.

With its torqued up launches, Greg Trapnell’s stack injected HQ is also a fan favourite and he currently sits eighth in the same category as Haig. His 9.217/151.76 best picked his average up to 9.378/148.34 and another good run on the final day has the potential to move him up a couple of places.

The fourth Aussie entry is less obvious to the fans as it wears California licence places but Brenton Gault is quietly doing a great job in Street Race Big Block with his Rehr-Morrison powered 69 Camaro. The car is deadly consistent and today the team ran early and were on their way to Columbus before a large number of competitors had even arrived at the track. Brenton’s single pass netted a 9.742/138.51 and his four day average of 9.768/138.83 has him fourth in the class.

Report by Keith Burgan

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