The Limited Drag Radial record has fallen to a 4.05 and it came at the hands of a team that nobody saw coming. Neal Hawkins wheeled Xavier McBride’s nitrous-fed Musang to the record and number one spot in the class at Beech Bend Raceway Park. This team didn’t plan on coming over from the no time world, however, that choice now looks like one of the best they could have made.
“Jason Ruckert had been talking with us for a while trying to come do some LDR racing. The no time world has treated us well but it has run its course for us. We love the no time crowd, honestly, if it wasn’t for the no time racing community I don’t know if we would have come back to racing. We class raced for many years, then did the no time deal, now we’re back to class racing so everything has gone full circle,” McBride explains.
When Hawkins lit the boards up on Thursday with a record-setting 4.08 pass people were shocked. This was the first time a nitrous car had really flexed its muscles in the Limited Drag Radial class. In Friday’s final qualifying session the record fell again at the hands of Hawkins with an effortless 4.05 pass. For McBride, this is just business as usual for his team, they want to keep their head low and just race without any fanfare.
“We’re a humble group of guys here at Broke Ass Racing and we just like to race. The whole point to us coming to LDR was we wanted to try to come back and do well here. There is a lot left in this car and that’s going to be interesting. It’s going to take consistency to win this weekend based on how tough the cars are here. It will take low four-second passes to get the job done,” McBride says.
Are we in the era of sub-.900 60-foot times in radial-tire racing? That’s the question that will be debated until the next big nitrous run, but for now, it resulted in the mark to beat and a number that has everyone talking.
Hancock delivered a hit and a knock-out punch last night as he powered his Pat Musi-motivated, nitrous-assisted Camaro to the top of the Radial versus The World leaderboard with a 3.603 in the third session and a stunning, internet-breaking 3.599 in the early Saturday morning hours. The run was not only the third-quickest radial-tire run in history, but the first by a nitrous car on any tire.
Hancock had recorded a fuel-car-like .890 60-foot in the third session, drawing some attention from officials and fellow competitors of what would be the quickest short-time in radial racing history. Earlier in the day, fellow nitrous runner Jack Greene had his 3.65 thrown out after a likewise suspect .869 short-time.
“I was ecstatic when I saw the .59 on the scoreboard from in the car, especially after all the controversy of the 3.60 in the other lane and thinking it wasn’t right, and then doing it again in the other lane made it even better,” Hancock shares.
For the Alabama native, the monumental lap was the culmination of months of effort by he and his low-budget team.
I was ecstatic when I saw the .59 on the scoreboard from in the car, especially after all the controversy of the 3.60 in the other lane and thinking it wasn’t right, and then doing it again in the other lane made it even better.
“We struggled at the Sweet 16 t0 keep the front end on the ground — it was doing big wheelies every run and we couldn’t make any good runs…we didn’t get into the field until the final attempt. We finally figured out how to keep the front down to apply the power the way we want to, and that’s been the biggest difference,” he explains.
The sudden uptick in performance by the nitrous cars of Hancock, Greene, and former record-holder Marcus Birt, has breathed new life into the power-adder previously thought akin to bringing a knife to a gunfight. Now, nitrous cars hold three of the five quickest runs in radial racing history.
“The weight is what allows us to keep up with the other power adders. We have to work on keeping the front end down … we have to 60-foot hard because we can’t run 210 or 215 mph like the turbo cars. We have tp run hard to the 60-foot. We have a lot of people helping us, between Menscer Motorsports, Nitrous Outlet, M&M Transmission, they’ve done a lot of stuff for us over the winter and we’ve been struggling but all of those changes are coming together and it’s really working. We added some titanium stuff to the car to get it lighter and it’s all paying off.”
“We’re a low-budget team so we don’t try to run it hard out the back and hurt parts. Obviously, if we start to push it out the back harder it’s going to run even quicker,” he adds.