The second leg of the ‘2017 Havoc US Tour’ was held at the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It comprised a ’round-robin’ series of match races between the four attendant AA/Fuel Altereds – Rat Trap, Bradford’s, Nanook and Havoc.
The weather was hot and humid – mid 90s on both and adjusted altitude not below 3,250′ – not ideal for us.
Round 1 on Friday saw us racing stablemate, and local hero, Ron Hope’s ‘Rat Trap’ Bantam. Problems in the right lane gave us a relatively simple task, but a 6.46 at 214mph was an encouraging start.
Round 2 on Friday saw us against good friend Randy Bradford and his Fiat. We were 1-1 in previous meetings with Randy who was developing the car with a new fuel pump, system and injector with impressive results. All felt good in the burnout but too many energy drinks and stifling temperatures helped contribute to leaving a cherry on the tree and handing the win to Randy. We ran 6.55 at 223mph – the speed becoming all too apparent when the chutes didn’t deploy and a sharp reminder of the benefits of front brakes ensued. The shutdown area was thankfully smooth and the car stopped short of the sand pit, with the Safety Safari arriving as the car pulled to a halt. All good – other than the cherry and the poor 60′ – weather was at 3,750′ and the motor was dropping cylinders at the startline in protest!
Round 3 on Saturday and a first race with the legendary Nanook, now driven by Vincent Generalao Sr. Burnouts completed, into pre-stage, breathe and get settled. Do NOT ‘bulb’ again. Tree runs, reasonable light and a couple of tell-tale puffs from the headers indicate more dropping cylinders. Nanook appears on the left side but isn’t pulling away. We’re starting to haul as we hit mid-track, moving around a little but nothing too scary. We’re pulling him in now, the body’s gone out of the peripheral, and now the motor too. The wheel disappears as the finish line approaches. It’s too close to call. Great race. Chutes hit, stop the car and neither of us know who won. Of course it doesn’t really matter but it matters hugely!
Crews arrive and much back-slapping and hugging ensues as I’m told we didn’t quite make it – if only the track was 20′ longer!!
Tow back and plenty of applause through the pits for what must have looked a great race – both cars run 6.44 – Nanook: 6.447@222, Havoc: 6.449@229. Back to the pits and travelling Brit supporters are ‘all smiles’ and congratulations. “Thanks, but it would have been even better if we’d won.” Response: “You did win!”
“Huh?” We did win. The win light is so small, the crew didn’t see it. Won it on a hole shot with a MOV of 0.0127 seconds. Doesn’t get much better. Amazing race…..
Round 4 and back against Rat Trap. Loser buys dinner. Unfortunately, the transformer malfunctioned in the burnout and we lost fire. We bought dinner and it was a pleasure to do so.
Fantastic weekend with thanks to the Hope family, Geoff and Beech Underwriting Agencies, Lawrie and the NFAA, Stewart and U.S.Automotive, Goodyear, Motorstate, Lucas Oils, ARP Fasteners and the Sherratt family.
See you next in Martin, Michigan. Can’t wait!