Nitro-Burning Gorilla Flames: ‘Drastic Plastic’ Versus ‘The Runaway’

nitro

Watching and get up close and personal with nitro-fueled cars is an experience that will overload your senses from the eye burning fumes to the chest thumping rumble. Getting to see these beasts run on the full hit of 100% nitro blend fuel is rare these days, but when you do, the experience is all the better thanks to the truly uninhibited “cackle” and the monstrous flames at night. In this video from NitroAmerica, Joe Hass and Tom Motry talk about what it takes to put up big numbers and make big flames old school-style in their famous Drastic Plastic Fuel Altered and Runaway fuel Funny Car.

nitro2The modern nitro powered Funny Car sucks down nearly two gallons of fuel per second on each pass, mixing it with about 3,000 CFM of air at full song.  Lighting all of that off in the 500 cubic inch motor is a dual magneto ignition that puts out a whopping 44 amps per cylinder. What make’s John Lawson’s 5.40 second passes at over 240 mph impressive is the fact his car is only running on a single magneto and single pump. Such a combination saves a lot of money on parts while still producing a ton of power from just half the spark.

Motry, the Crew chief of the Drastic Plastic altered beast, talks about how he tunes the car without the aid of modern things like computers or other management tools. It’s all about the look and feel of the run just like the old days. The big gorilla flames from the zoomies come from big fuel pumps and the larger percentage of nitro these cars run. Check out this video from Les Mayhew that captures the true angry nature of these two very unique nitro-burning machines as they run deep into the five-second zone and put on a show with the candles lit the entire quarter mile.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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