Bill Reichert aims for national title

Reichert and Bar's Leaks shooting for national title in '06 OWOSSO, Mich. - After being a top five player the past 3 years in the NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster wars, three-time Division 3 Champ Bill Reichert is looking for a national championship...

Reichert and Bar's Leaks shooting for national title in '06

OWOSSO, Mich. - After being a top five player the past 3 years in the NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster wars, three-time Division 3 Champ Bill Reichert is looking for a national championship this year in his Bar's Leaks sponsored Injected Nitro Dragster. After taking out last year's champ Steve Torrence in winning the recent O'Reilly Spring Nationals in Houston, Reichert may just be on his way to that illusive first national title.

Reichert, who runs the family business, Reichert Racing Engines, in Owosso, Mich., has raced in some form since he was 12 years old. He started racing go-carts, then worked his way into motorcycles. When he was old enough to get his driver's license, Reichert started drag racing on a local level.

"I've pretty much been racing all my life," said Reichert. "I started out in go-carts and motorcycles, then got into drag racing. I started out racing an old GTO, then I raced a '65 Chevelle in the weekly stuff at the local tracks. After that I ran a Camaro in Super Stock and Comp for a while."

Reichert's desire to continually go faster pushed him into the Top Alcohol Dragster ranks in 1992 with a Blown Alcohol Dragster. He campaigned that combination until 2000 when he made the switch to Injected Nitro. After learning the ropes of the combination that year, Reichert started to become one of the heavy-hitters in the class.

"We started running pretty decent the second year we had the fuel car," Reichert recalled. "We started running the car with the Veney heads we ran on the alcohol car. We bought a set of Brad Anderson heads, and you could see we started running faster because we had more power. The past few years we really gained on it."

Reichert credits his team's advancement to understanding the characteristics of the nitromethane fuel rather than any trick parts or pieces. In 2003, Reichert ran a career best of 5.18 seconds and currently holds the class speed record at 280.66 mph set last season in Chicago.

"Since we switched to Brad heads, what has got us to where we are performance wise is just understanding what makes these A/Fuel cars run," cited Reichert. "Everything has just came together."

Reichert ended the 2005 season as one of the hottest cars on the tour, winning the last three national events on the tour. He appears to have picked up right where he left off this season, qualifying No. 1 at the ACDelco Gatornationals where he lost in the second round after a foul start, then winning the O'Reilly Spring Nationals two weeks ago.

"It was a good win," commented Reichert. "We had a lot of luck thanks to my new passenger, Bar's Leaks the monkey. I'm hoping he will bring me more luck as the season goes on."

"Bar's Leaks has been associated with Bill Reichert and his team for over 10 years, and we hope to help him bring home the national championship this season," stated Clay Parks, VP of Marketing & Development for Bar's Leaks. "Bill is the type of person that any sponsor would love to have associated with their name. He could be in the middle of rebuilding an engine, but always has time to sign an autograph."

While many look to move up from the alcohol ranks to NHRA's premiere class, Top Fuel, Reichert is happy to compete right where he is.

"I plan to stay in Top Alcohol Dragster," stated Reichert. "It's within the realm of what we can do. Bar's Leaks helps us to be a competitive car in this class. If I were to go Top Fuel, it would just have to be a once in a while deal since I couldn't do it full time due to my business. Without being full time and being able to field a competitive car, I don't think I would have fun. I'm a real competitive guy, and I really enjoy being able to be a part of the points chase."

"The car we have now is a fun car to drive," Reichert continued. "Actually, this car is probably the most fun to drive out of all the cars I've raced. It's pretty easy to drive. Since we run a lot of the same parts as Top Fuel, we get a lot of the safety benefits like the helmet shroud, but we don't run as fast."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bill Reichert , Steve Torrence