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Drag Racing Stories
Jan 9, 2008

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Burnout Wars with Animal Jim

By Animal Jim Feurer  

Years ago, before Mountain Motors, in Pro Stock we all did dry hops over the line. The basic procedure was this:

Pull in the water box, set line lock, put Lenco in 3rd. (Some liked pulling last two levers back instead of first two). Anyway you’re in 3rd. Bring RPMs up to wherever your car smokes the tires best and let out the clutch. Smoke them in 3rd for a few seconds, then pull last lever for 4th. (May need a little more throttle at that time.) After a couple of seconds, you will feel the car go up on the tires and want to pull away. Let go of the Line Lock and let car burn to about 2 car lengths before the stage beams.  

Then do a small dry spin/hop and move forward to simulate staging.

(Do not light both bulbs!!!!) Some guys did not do one hard shot across the line routine. You needed to agree on what routine each other was going to do. Then your opponent may lie and say, "I'm doing "One ACROSS." Then if you pull up and happen to light both beams he will do the same simultaneously and the starter will assume you both are staged to run and hit the tree!!!  Your opponent will be ready for that, but not you. (Later I will tell you how I defended that action.)

Then make your practice launch. Maybe even pull second gear.  

Then back up about a car and a half behind the staging beams. Then pour your VHT or REMEMBER MR. GASKET GRIP JUICE!!!??? STILL SOME ON LOWER QUARTERS OF MY BIG ANIMAL.

Carefully pull onto the VHT/Grip Juice puddles and just ZING the rear tires carefully -- only a couple of revolutions. (THIS TOOK PRACTICE -- IT WAS AN ART FORM).  

Then pull up and stage and you were ready to go.

I learned the hard way about not lighting two bulbs before a dry hop over the line. Once, my opponent lied and had no intention of doing a dry one. He may have been in cahoots with the starter. I carelessly lit two bulbs and he was right there and starter hit the tree and caught me flat.  

The next race I ran him at was an AHRA National. In AHRA, you were allowed one shot over the line. This time we agreed not to do one over the line. We went to stage. He lit one and I lit one. He lit the second bulb. Then I revved up and did a huge launch and even pulled second. I then backed up at a normal pace. All this while my opponent is sitting at the starting line with two bulbs lit. I then did my VHT routine and quickly staged with the throttle on the wood (No rev control then). I holed him by 2 cars.  

He never messed with me again.

At Tulsa 1982, even though I was still running a small block, I started doing Funny Car Style burnouts across the line. They were a lot more effective and more fun. In 84, I went Mountain Motor.  

Animal Jim Feurer


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