in the world of drag racing
The latest update as of February 13, 2000
There really isn't time for an update today, but when I logged on just now to upload some updated Cartoons pages . . . the latest news from DownUnder came through the mailbox. Jim Grant has checked in again and brought us a report on his latest appearance at Adelaide this weekend. He was running his Dart in the "Supercharged Outlaws" portion of the meeting, which featured the final round of the "Top Fuel Harley World Series" and the fourth round of the Australian Top Doorslammer championship. For all the news on the Harley boys, visit the American Drag Bike website.
So what has Jim been up to this week? The first few days were spent travelling halfway across the country, after his appearance at Perth's Ravenswood Raceway last Saturday. He appears to have survived the mind-numbing emptiness of the Nullarbor Plain (from Perth to Adelaide -- 1200 miles of flat, straight road with nothing, and I mean, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to look at except the bitumen and the occasional dead 'roo. Then it was down to business at Adelaide Raceway on Saturday, and as it turned out, Sunday also. Here's Jim's report:
I just don't seem to have the time or the ambition to update my own site these days and seeing as how you do such a great job keeping people up to speed on things downunder, I thought I'd send an update report on our performance after the Adelaide Top Bike/Top Doorslammer show. AIR may not be the biggest or the fanciest facility in Oz but the people were really great.
I found out that this is the city where all of the Aussie Chryslers are made and as a result there is a tremendous Mopar following here. My '69 Dart resembles very closely the Valiant VE, VF, and VG coupes made about the same time and there are quite a few good restored ones around, both on the track and on the street.
They had a great turn out (don't know the numbers) but oil downs and computer timer glitches stretched the Saturday event into a two day event. The return crowd yesterday was unbelievable! I believe that almost every Harley in Australia came to the meeting because I have never seen so many H-D's in one place. Despite an excessive police presence every one behaved like sportsmen, my hat's off to you guys.
Caroline Miilics ran a great show and her husband John and his mate came out to help us in the pits. Thanks guys, great job and a big help. We had a couple of bigwigs from our sponsors, Best Western Hotels come out and I think they had a good time. It's much more fun when they get involved.
As for us, the guys worked their backsides off and we made progress. We have had a bit of a time figuring out the clutch. It doesn't seem to matter what we do, we run 7.5 - 7.6. We finally added a "ton" more centrifigal to the clutch and bingo, ran a 7.43 before the eliminations. We qualified 9th in Comp Eliminator and as a result drew the #1 qualifier Rod Rainford who is a tough, tough, bracket racer and eventually won the meeting.
We're happy though because we made progress and know we're on the right track again. We'll have some qualifiers before the Australian Nationals next week and hopefully we'll be able to qualify in what promises to be a super tough field. We have to run on a 6.97 index and will have to find a way to pick up a few more tenths.
I have complete confidence in Grant and Gordon and I know we'll be there to race. We'll be having a "win-a-ride" winner in the car at the Nationals as well as the winner of the trip for two to the Nationals. Best Western put up the accommodations, Flight Center put up the airline tickets, and Calder Park Raceway is putting up the Gold Passes so the winners should have a pretty good weekend.
I know how much you want to be here and all I can say is, you should be here Bob, it's great! Thanks again for the web postings and I'll try to get on those pictures and video soon. Actually Dragster Australia had a great picture of the car launching in last week's issue. Check it out.