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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Fuel Burndown Wars

By Chuck Johnson

I have many memories of attempts to burn us down. "Large Father" & "The Snake" were pretty predictable in that department. My most vivid memory on this subject was a night race against Prudhomme at Orange County. We were lined up to go next, and I was getting a little worked up because I knew what he was going to do. I waited until Prudhomme was strapped in and then went over to his car, leaned into the roll cage, and "told" him that he was starting first. He didn't seem to like that approach. 

I then got behind the wheel of the push truck. When they told us to go, nobody went. They tried again and we just sat there. Finally, I took my foot off the brake and started to idle towards the starting line, and so did Prudhomme. We burned up half the 2-lane part of the push road at a side-by-side idle. 

Finally, knowing that Prudhomme had heat in his motor and we didn't (and that he was probably sufficiently rattled), and knowing that we had the can in it, I couldn't waste any more push road and had to hit it pretty good to make sure it started. The announcer must have picked up on what was going on because the crowd seemed to like it. Of course, they always liked hearing 2-1/4 inch pipes on 98% fire a few feet from the stands. 

We did our normal staging area routine when racing an elephant motor, which was to burn out & stage as soon as possible drawing all attention to the other car making a burn down harder to accomplish. The starters seemed to try to help us in that department. The whole deal worked out. Ramsey did his job, the car did its job, and Prudhomme spent the next round on the trailer.


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