A change of race format and the lure of some serious cash has motivated Rob Harrington into a thrash to have his ‘Bad Influence II’ Monaro on track, and ready to debut in Pro Slammer at the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals.
When Harrington rolls into stage for the first qualifying session of Pro Slammer on Friday he will be realising a life-long racing dream.
“The decision came about once I saw the All-Run format coupled with the 40k on the line. Money talks and more runs at the best meeting of the year is just a no brainer to enter,” said Harrington.
“Going Pro Slammer has been the goal since day one of my racing career, I’ve wanted to do it my whole life, to actually enter and run with people I’ve looked up too for a long time is going to be a surreal feeling.”
“I still pinch myself that I own my own Pro Slammer, it blows my mind that I actually own and race one.”
But Harrington hasn’t had time to ponder his dream, the state of the world we are currently existing in has just added more challenges in reaching the start line.
“The engine has just had a fresh rebuild top to bottom. Right now I’ve been so busy getting the car and transporter ready I haven’t had much time to feel anything about it,” he said.
“It’s a battle to just get there. With a world wide shortage on parts we had to rush a set of rods in from the States, as the set I ordered had no ETA at all, plus various other parts that could take days to months for answers on a date they could arrive, or even just an alternative option.
“But everyone is in the same boat logistically. It’s a nightmare behind the scenes.”
That was only half the battle, compounding the parts shortage, following Harrington’s runner-up finish in Pro Mod at Super Thunder, routine maintenance uncovered a serious problem with the Monaro that looked to had ruled him out of the Winternationals.
“We found the diff had a massive crack all the way around on the spindle for the floater hub,” said Harrington. “One more pass I believe it would of vacated the vehicle and god only know what the consequences would of been.
“We could of fixed the diff but it would not of been safe for myself or my fellow racers, so we scrapped that diff and decided to go down a different route.”
“I received many phone offerings of help, which I am very grateful for, but we ended up with a complete Strange modular setup that will last us a very long time. It was definitely money well spent as it’s a piece of art.”
Harrington is under no allusions on the performance of the Monaro, the car has run into the 5.8s with the previous owner Wayne Keys, but since then, what was a tired Murray Anderson built chassis, has under gone an extensive rebuild by Harrington and should be capable of a bit more.
“Since I debuted the car it has been in legal Doorslammer trim and we have been chipping away at the setup,” said Harrington. “The only change is the new diff. It may change the whole dynamic of the car but only time will tell.
“Our first pass with the car reassembled will be Friday during the compulsory qualifying session. We just want to make repeatable A to B passes in the car. We are battling tyre shake about 150ft out so we hope to rectify that this weekend with the quality of the track always being really good at the Winters.”
“Of course a 5 second pass is in our sight. That would be a bucket list item ticked off. Our PB currently is 6.09 at 241MPH with a peddle early into the run. If the car behaves and the driver does his job, the car should sail into the fives – should being the word there. In the world of drag racing nothing is certain.
Naturally, there is a long list of people Harrington needs to thank just so he can be at the track this weekend. “To my sponsors; Child’s Tyre Service Emerald, Bursons Auto Parts Emerald, Torquay Hotel Hervey Bay and Harrington Race Autos thank you for your ongoing support. My crew who work their tails off but always have a really fun and enjoyable time – thank you for your continued dedication, support and loyalty.”
“You have all made my life so much easier at the track and I’m grateful for all your time away from family and work to help me achieve a life long dream. I’m glad we are able to do this all as a team from as far and wide as we all are. I couldn’t of dreamed of a better team. Again from the bottom of my heart thank you all.”
– Drag News Magazine