THE third track for the 2015 Hot Rod Drag Week was Great Lakes Dragway in Union Grove, Wisconsin. It has been a drag strip since 1955 and is one of the oldest tracks still operating in the US. Even though the track runs meetings as often as six days a week, the stands were packed to the rafters. Driving in, it felt like we were in the drag racing equivalent of Woodstock, though were surprised to see armed guards on duty!
The sad news first up is that the Faraone Chrager had a problem and didn’t make it to the track to make a pass – though we have no doubt that John will fix the car and continue on to the end.
The Trapnell HQ Monaro team hurt a flexplate, meaning the gearbox had to come out. They also damaged some roller lifters – fingers crossed they make it back for day four.
The now-bonnetless LX Torana hatch of Brian and Dianne Jensen is going like a freight train. It ran a 10.6-second pass and is currently coming third in its class.
The ‘Sexual Steve’ Chevelle of Harry Haig ran a 14.02-second pass on a very soft launch, but it did record its first 100mph terminal speed. Harry was trying to keep the gearbox in it, because it had snapped two lugs holding the ’box to the bellhousing!
The boys then had a busy afternoon, with an oil change, tappet adjustment, new plugs, a new alternator, new clutch and a new gearbox. That done, the team made it to within two minutes of their destination for the night when the crown wheel bolts sheared again! They boys patched it up and drove it to the hotel dry and with no backing plate. They’ll get some sleep and attend to that in the morning.
Steve Reimann and Mark Arblaster ran a couple of 10.30s, then headed off early to Cordova.
Tom Bailey’s Pro Mod Camaro is the current leader of the Unlimited class and the event overall, with an average ET of 6.824 seconds, though he may have hurt his engine in the process.
Bryant Goldstone’s AMC Javelin is currently coming in second place overall, with an average of 6.966 seconds for the week so far.
Chopper Bob hails from Kenosha, Wisconsin, only a stone’s throw from Great Lakes Dragway. He’d come down for the day in his AMC AMX, which he painted in his carport between rain storms. Not one for being a show-off, he says, the car’s stayed the same for over 16 years, and Bob quickly produced multiple copies of old magazines featuring the car.
Phone and WiFi reception in Union Grove was pretty much non-existent. The Hot Rod boys had it sorted with this rig.
Today’s drive is 152 miles, with a stop-off at Sam’s Drive-In Diner. The burgers are pretty awesome! In the morning, we’re headed to Cordova International Raceway for Day Four.