Back in the Show
Howard Haight's New Top Fuel Ride
By Howard Haight
Howard Haight made the big show at Pomona and will try to tame the wild beast during 2001.
Photo by Auto Imagery
Top Fuel veteran Howard Haight, who's been tearing up the nostalgia circuit in the Circuit Breaker car over the past few years, got a ride in a first class NHRA Top Fuel machine at Pomona. Here are his impressions of this past weekend. Thanks to Dave Kommel of Auto Imagery for the outstanding photo of Howard in his new ride.
Let me first thank all the friends who ether gave encouragement or came by in person. You're all great in my book. As far as how it felt, I was a sick to my stomach nervous wreck until the engine lit for the first lap on Thursday. As soon as I did the burnout and started to back up, I got the killer instinct back and was ready before I even staged.
The car left very well with a .930 60-foot time and pulled much harder than anything I've ever been in before. It went about 400 feet, the engine suddenly shot up about 1000-1500 rpm, and it felt like it smoked the tires. It didn't. What it was doing was going through the clutch and it had disintegrated a clutch floater. I shut off and it was a damn good thing. The clutch was a mess, beat to a pulp from the parts in the can.
We spent the next day fixing it up. My team owners were delighted that I caught it so early and we had NO engine damage. I then new I was ready to go haul ass and was ready for my first 4-second ride, but it wasn't to be this weekend. We just suffered one problem after another in the clutch-cannon department, but I'm positively thrilled to be back in the BIG car. I have been told at least for now that I'm the permanent driver of the Keigley, Phillips & Mosby top Fuel Dragster.