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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Slammin' Sammy's Rocket Funny Car Facts

By John Hutchinson

Regarding the article on "Slammin" Sammy Miller, I thought you would like the following information on his runs in England. At the '81 Internationals at Santa Pod Raceway, Sammy driving the "Oxygen" rocket dragster raced Al Eierdam in the "Vanishing Point" rocket funny car. Al won the first of a best of three with a holeshot, 4.79/228 to Sammy's 4.67/267. Sammy won the second round with a 4.53/320! The final went to Al with a 4.64/234 to Sammy's 4.33/277.

At the '82 Easter meeting at Santa Pod, Allan Herridge raced "Vanishing Point" against Sammy in "Oxygen" and beat him twice, best times were 4.90/223 for Herridge and a 4.56/284 for Sammy.

At the '82 Cannonball Run at Santa Pod, Sammy tried to beat the world record of 3.74 seconds set by Kitty O'Neil in the USA. He fell short by .07 seconds, running a 3.81/331 in the Vanishing Point funny car!

[Sammy went on to record the all time quickest run at 3.58 seconds in 1985. bp]

For quite some time, England had the quickest side-by-side runs in drag racing.

Phenomenal times of 0-60 mph in 0.2 seconds and 0-100 mph in 0.3 seconds were normal for rocket cars. Sammy couldn't buy the rocket fuel in England and had to buy it in Germany. He had to fuel the car in a field about 1/4 mile away from any other cars or spectators! I believe the engine he used in "Vanishing Point" was the same type used by NASA in the lunar module. He had to lie almost flat on his back in the car; otherwise, the incredible acceleration would have caused him to black out. He said that every time he raced the car his nose and ears bled.

Thanks to Nick Pettitt of Time Travel Video for giving me the info.

John Hutchinson, Gateshead, England


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