What happens when you take a rowdy bunch of Australians and let them run HOT ROD Drag Week, presented by Gear Vendors, in a $1,500 Chevelle? Well, they seem to keep coming back — and this time it’s with a whole lot of twin-turbo madness. Harry “Haul” Haig, Shannon “Pyro” Jennings, Ryan “The Sarge” Jones, along with Terry Seng from Paramount Performance, managed to endure their first two days with the newly Mad-Maxed (the
blower turbos!) 1969 Chevelle SS 396.
While Monday began with the Chevelle popping a fuel pump fuse during Drag Week’s inaugural run, the boys quickly diagnosed the problem and returned to the staging beams to print their first time slip of the week. While the morning run was met with an unruly chassis, things began to fall in place after studying the Chevelle’s launch. With a few quick suspension changes, and with the addition of limiting straps (aka, Harbor Freight ratchet straps), they were able to punch through the nines with a solid 9.062 at 153.47 mph to wrap up Monday’s racing.
The night’s drive was a bit of an adventure for the Aussies, along with Jeffery Lutz’s turbocharged, small-block Civic, and Garry Ross’ 1963 Falcon Wagon, and Jeremy Scanlon’s 1986 Camaro. The Route 97 detour near Loudonville, Ohio caused a bit of mayhem when local police routed them onto some sort of dirt road. While the Aussies might’ve felt back at home, the route was not kind to Lutz’s Civic, taking some damage to the body kit. Everyone made it out safely, but it was a long night for the convoy.
At Summit Motorsports Park on Tuesday, the guys began setting the Chevelle up with new springs (using the stockers for the road miles), and turning the boost up to 12 psi. The Chevelle looked good, but the charge pipe popped off early in the run resulting in a throwaway 10-second run. They turned it around with a little more boost, because that’s just what you do, and everything finally clicked — 8.847 at 156.570 mph!
With that massive improvement over Monday’s ET, thing were looking on the up-and-up for the Aussies as they left Norwalk for US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan. Unfortunately, 60 miles into the route at the first checkpoint, Haig and Seng noticed their 9-inch axle began howling. That lead to a six-hour thrash to inspect the gear set, with most of the time spent trying to get the aluminum pinion support out of the carrier due to thermal expansion inside the cast-iron carrier and housing.
What was discovered was a lot of powderized ring-and-pinion, meaning that the gear set was self destructing itself as the clearances began opening up.
After a quick inspection during a long parts hunt, some new fluid, and a hope of a gear set in Michigan, the boys bolted it back together and hit the road. Despite the singing axle, the Aussies were finish the transit stage with no drama thanks to the help from Dustin Gardner and Garry Ross.