The sport of sand drag racing, albeit significantly shorter in distance than its asphalt-laden and more mainstream counterpart, is perhaps equally as exciting a spectacle for the roostertails of dirt and clay that are thrown from the paddle tires of the racing machines as they blast down the 300 foot course. And although the sport has less money infused, there’s no shortage of impressive vehicles that could give the slick-tired racers a run for their money, pound for pound.
Illustrating such a fact over the weekend was Dennis Rieck and his Hammer Down Racing sand dragster team, as they recorded the quickest pass in the history of sand drag racing at the Dome Valley Raceway in Welton, Ariz. on Saturday evening. Rieck clocked a 2.16-second lap at 156 mph.
The Hammer Down dragster is propelled by a supercharged, nitro-burning Hemi just like those in the NHRA Top Fuel ranks. “Fast” Eddie Knox, the owner, tuner, and engine builder for the “Problem Child” Top Fuel Hydroplane that is the two-time and reigning Lucas Oil Drag Boat champion and all-time world record holder, prepared the engine in Rieck’s down and dirty digger.
If you’re wondering how that stacks up against an NHRA Top Fuel Dragster, Antron Brown tripped the 330-foot clocks in 2.100-seconds when he blasted to the quickest pass in drag racing history — a 3.701 — at the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals in Reading just two weeks ago. The sand drag racing course is thirty feet shorter, so we can estimate that would’ve put Rieck in the 2.50 range if the course had the extra thirty feet. Rieck was also .897 to sixty feet, which is mighty impressive all things considered.