We were able to get everything prepared and set to take a full run next time. The way Lee (Beard) set the car up was very aggressive and that car had never run close to that setup before. So things can happen like that. As it was, the next day we ran the quickest time in Australia drag racing history with a 4.50 (seconds) and 332 (miles per hour).
It was bitter sweet to run a quarter-mile again. It was so enjoyable. It was great to stay on the throttle longer. In the U.S., our runs are over so quickly now (at 1,000 feet). You don’t get to sit down and enjoy the run. It felt nice to drive the car a quarter-mile again. Wish we could do it here again.
It would nice to shake up in the NHRA national events like NASCAR and IndyCar do with different tracks. They run short tracks, super speedways and road courses. With our races, I think you can have 1,000-foot, four-wide and quarter-mile races. We have the rules in place that can keep our cars in check.
It had been five years since I drove a quarter-mile, so I thought that some our NHRA drivers haven’t done it a long time or have never experienced that thrill. I think they would get a kick out of it.
I think there are some tracks with the proper runoff now to have quarter-mile races again. But that isn’t my call. It would mix up and the fans would like it.
The fans in Australia were amazing. NHRA drag racing has quite a following down there. They get up in the middle of the night to watch our races. It’s similar to what F-1 fans in the U.S. do. We are up in the middle of the night to watch F-1 around the world. I know I do.
It was fun to talk to people in Australia who plan their vacations around the NHRA national events. They will come to Las Vegas or Pomona or Indy or Gainesville. It was interesting how much they follow our sport. It was a great experience for the team, the family and me. Just glad that little spin turned out OK.
Now, we move onto Charlotte for the Four-Wide event this weekend and the Rapisarda team is very excited as we have new engine parts for the car. We have been running last year’s equipment so far and this weekend we’ll have the new stuff. We didn’t run the Las Vegas race two weeks ago as we were waiting for those parts. I’m anxious and ready to go.
See you at Charlotte.