The world could use more Fuel Altereds. That’s not to suggest there’s a shortage at present per se, but nitromethane packaged with a short wheelbase displaying utter violence and sensory assault is one of those vices in life you just can’t over-consume. Old school, new school, whatever, bring them on.
This weekend, veteran Fuel Altered showman Howard Farris illustrated all that’s great about Fuel Altered racing when he blasted to what’s believed to be the quickest eighth-mile run ever recorded by one with an awe-inducing 3.49-second lap at 189 mph — a run made all the more impressive by the fact that, as spectator accounts alluded to and the video confirms, came on an off-the-throttle hit. Farris, behind the wheel of his War Wagon machine, cranked off a modern-day Fuel Funny Car-like .878 short time and had the candles blown out at what the team shared was about 450 feet, all but cementing that his machine will go 3.30’s.
And it didn’t take a big-time, national event stage to get it done, either. Just as it ought to be, Farris’ monstrous lap was clocked at the Eddyville Raceway Park, a small eighth-mile strip tucked away in rural Oskaloosa, Iowa with hardly enough shutdown to stop a 200 mph Fuel Altered but packed with hordes of fans champing at the bit to get up and close and personal with one.
The War Wagon, on its record-setting run, was burning a potent 91 percent nitromethane mixture in the dual-mag Hemi, and despite its performance, the Farris camp confirms that the car is run quite conservatively, running a handful of races this season without hurting any parts since first assembling the engine. After each run, the oil filter is inspected for any metal shavings, the valves run, and the clutch adjusted and/or the clutch packs replaced.
So how quick could these guys go with a big-show budget to really lean on the combination? With a well balanced chassis and downforce package, it wouldn’t seem out of the realm of possibility by any stretch for sub-five seconds in the quarter, especially given that the floppers did the deed nearly a quarter century ago with technology thats ancient by today’s standards. But even as the car sits now, it’s half-track numbers put it in the 5.20 ballpark … for the sake of a rough comparison, Jim Whiteley went 3.41 at 222 mph in Top Alcohol Dragster on his way to a 5.17.
And according to crew chief Shane Farris, we may get the opportunity to see that quarter-mile hit in the near future.
Photos courtesy Tyler Farris