“Big Daddy” Returns To Bradenton In Quest For 200 MPH With SR-37

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Don Garlits and the Lawless Industries crew headed out to Bradenton Motorsports Park again on Monday on their continuing quest to break the 200 mph barrier in a battery-powered dragster, known as Swamp Rat 37. This marks the fourth attempt for the team and while they have not met their ultimate goal yet, they have broken several records along the way, including becoming the first EV Dragster to exceed 160, 170 and 180 mph in the quarter mile with SR-37.

Garlits and Crew from left to right: Craig Santina, Landen Rust, Don Garlits, Shawn Lawless and Ivan Maldonado.

Garlits and Crew from left to right: Craig Santina, Landen Rust, Don Garlits, Shawn Lawless and Ivan Maldonado.

Since their last outing some changes were made to the batteries and motor controller systems upgraded, with each of the six motors now having it’s own controller for more accuracy and reliability. The new Lawless Industries-designed battery packs have about fifty percent more battery horsepower than before for a total of about 2000 battery horsepower. So far they have only tapped into near 1300 of the available power and have met with reliability issues. This session was also cut short after making three good runs when one of the motor brush gears failed. “The concern now is how much power we can put to the drive system and the motors and still make it down the track in one piece.” – Shawn Lawless

Monday, Garlits made three runs in Swamp Rat 37, starting out with lower power to test the new systems, running an 8.77 at 148 out of the box, then a 7.81 at 166 and a 7.46 at 174 before parts failure ended their day.

In past outings the car burned fuses with as much as 600 AMP capacity. You can easily see the damage such currents can quickly cause.

In past outings the car burned fuses with as much as 600 AMP capacity. You can easily see the damage such currents can quickly cause.

About the author

Rob Cossack

Rob has had an interest in photography since he was young, but didn't get started until 2007, when he started shooting at the local tracks. After that, he started doing local video coverage of heads-up events and began working with Power Automedia shortly after.
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