Lee Callaway to park car
Callaway to park car until rules change A/Fuel barrage of mid 5.20's prompts Callaway to seek action BAYTOWN, Texas - Former NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion Lee Callaway stated today he is parking his car effective immediately due ...
Callaway to park car until rules change
A/Fuel barrage of mid 5.20's prompts Callaway to seek action
BAYTOWN, Texas - Former NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion Lee Callaway stated today he is parking his car effective immediately due to his combination's distinct disadvantage under current NHRA TAD rules. Callaway, the lone Blown Alcohol Dragster in the field at this past weekend's O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, posted near career numbers that were far overshadowed by a number of cars running the A/Fuel combination.
Callaway, from Baytown, was encouraged by the offseason rules change that limited the A/Fuel combination to 97%. During that period, Callaway made numerous upgrades to his chassis, and stockpiled equipment to make a strong charge at a national finish. The all-time best for a Blown Alcohol Dragster was an elapsed time of 5.26 seconds in near-perfect conditions. That mark was eclipsed twice this weekend by the A/Fuel cars of Art Gallant and Steve Torrence in conditions that were far from perfect.
"I really thought we had a chance this season with them knocking the A/Fuel cars down to 97 percent," stated Callaway. "We updated the car, we bought new parts, and were ready to go run hard this season for a division championship and a strong national finish. After the past few weeks where the A/Fuel cars are running in the .20's pretty easily, it just goes to show that the rule didn't slow them down much at all."
"I'm not out here to go run for second place," Callaway continued. "I race to win, not just show up and qualify. I have the best parts money can buy for the Blown Alcohol combination. I realize I'm not the top blown car in the country, but honestly, we have our car pretty close. When the A/Fuel cars go out and run in the mid to low .20's this early in the season in conditions far worse than when the few blown cars that have run .20's, it just becomes a waste of time to run a blown car. I'm not going to spend the time and money to go out and be an also-ran."
Callaway feels that the blown cars should be sped up to create a level playing field in the class between the Blown Alcohol and A/Fuel combinations.
"I'm friends with a lot of the guys out there running A/Fuel," commented Callaway. "And I don't want this to come off as a personal attack on them, but the bottom line is something has to be done or a blown car is just wasting their time. I think the past two years of NHRA trying to slow the A/Fuel cars down just shows it doesn't work. I think the direction they need to move is to speed the blown cars up. They either need to give us more blower overdrive, more cubic inches, something to help us out. If they don't do that, then at very least they need to hit the A/Fuel cars another percent."
At this past weekend's event, Callaway qualified his entry seventh in the field with a 5.406 at a career-best 264.96 mph. In his first round matchup with Randy Meyer, Callaway encountered tireshake and slowed to a 5.481 at 259.96 mph that was not enough for Meyer's 5.433 at 266.48 mph.
"I've made the decision that I'm parking the car until something is done," cited Callaway. "I really hope NHRA does the right thing and fixes this soon so that the blown alcohol dragster can have a chance to be competitive again."