Rob Tucker’s NHRA debut a tough one, but he realises a dream

This article brought to you by:

Just getting to the starting line of any drag racing event is much tougher than people think, let alone to try and qualify for an NHRA Pro Stock field.

Subscribe to Drag News Magazine (in print) today!

One Year (Eight Issue) Print Subscription – $119
Issue by Issue Print Subscription – $14.95 every six weeks
Drag News Magazine Issue #56 – $15.95

Former Australian Pro Stock champion Rob Tucker (father of Shane) was able to tick competing at an NHRA event off his bucket list over the weekend, as he attempted to qualify for the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.

Tucker’s weekend didn’t go to plan right from the start, but the Queenslander was still in a positive mindset following the event.

The games started when the team encountered roadworks on their way to Ohio from North Carolina, leaving them an hour behind schedule.

Once they arrived at Norwalk, it was only Rob and his wife Janine left to set up their operation with the ring-in crew still to arrive. After getting a start in the hot weather and then stopping for lunch, the Tuckers realised they had thrown a breaker on their generator, which caused a cooling fan to stop and the generator to overheat. It might not seem like a big deal, except you need the generator to get the tailgate down!

Friday dawned with a poor weather forecast. The team expected qualifying to be cancelled but the NHRA persisted in drying the track and suddenly Q1 was called to the lanes. Yet again, things did not go to plan, as Janine relates.

“After an average first burnout attempt Rob backed up for a second shot at it with fire in his eyes and steam coming out of his helmet, he was so mad with himself for the screw up,” she said. “He rolled into stage, lit both lights and put it on the chip. As soon as he did that it threw his left foot off the clutch and took off before the tree was activated resulting in a Q1 disaster.”

It turned out the burnout issue was not Rob’s fault – more on that in a bit!

Q2 was called on Saturday and this time things went more to plan, that is until Rob put the car into high gear and the number one connecting rod exited the motor at the 1000 foot mark, rolling through for a 6.90.

In went the spare motor for Q3, where Rob was finally able to get a decent launch in before the car mysteriously shut off as he went for third gear.

Following the event, Rob went looking for answers to the problems, and found an issue with his fuel pump.

“The reason I screwed up the first burnout was the fuel pump stopped,” he said. “It also stopped on the second burnout of Q1, the Q2 burnout and the Q3 run. I just found the issue when we got home and started looking at the runs. After finding this I was less mad at myself, I now realised what was going on.

“Thanks to everyone for the nice comments, another tick off the bucket list. Remember, never give up on your dreams, and age is just a number, it don’t mean shit.”

Janine was just as circumspect about her husband’s first NHRA race.

“Not our greatest moment but we had fun, lots of laughter (at our own expense) with all the dumb shit we did and of course surrounded by passionate racers all with similar hopes and dreams of racing for the Wally,” Janine said.

Aeroflow Performance Parts Catalogue

Drag News Magazine