Bar's Leaks the Monkey strikes again in Indy CLERMONT, Ind. - Former four-time NHRA Division 3 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion Bill Reichert won his second straight race with the help of his new 'co-pilot' Bar's Leaks the Monkey during this past...
Bar's Leaks the Monkey strikes again in Indy
CLERMONT, Ind. - Former four-time NHRA Division 3 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion Bill Reichert won his second straight race with the help of his new 'co-pilot' Bar's Leaks the Monkey during this past weekend's Division 3 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series opener at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Reichert moved to third place in national standings with the win.
Reichert, who runs his family business Reichert Racing Engines in Owosso, Mich., qualified his Bar's Leaks sponsored A/Fuel Dragster second in the field with a 5.381 second elapsed time at 263.82 mph. In round one, he defeated Dave Hedges, Jr., with a 5.312 at 263.20 mph, then took out Noah Condo with a 5.336 at 267.43 mph in the semifinals.
Reichert's final round opponent would be No. 1 qualifier Dave Hirata. Reichert and Bar's Leaks the Monkey proved to be too strong, with Reichert taking the win in a close race with a 5.354 at 269.51 mph (top speed of the event) to Hirata's right-there 5.378 at 261.88 mph. The margin of victory was a mere ten thousandths of a second.
"The car ran good and we wound up in the winner's circle," said Reichert. "I guess Bar's Leaks the Monkey is doing his job. The air never got real hot, I think 76 was about the high. The track was in pretty good shape all weekend. Not quite as good as a national event, but good."
Bar's Leaks the Monkey, a toy monkey that now rides in Reichert's cockpit, originated as a joke by Bar's Leaks President Bob Mermuys to get Reichert to relax.
"We qualified No. 1 down at the Gatornationals and really had the car running good," Reichert recalled. "Then I went and redlighted in the second round when I really had my opponent covered. We're not talking a small redlight, I just took off before the yellow lights came on. When I got back home Bob [Mermuys] was at the shop and I was telling him how mad I was because your job as a driver in one of these A/Fuel cars is so easy once you stage you could train a monkey to do it. Well, the next day, Bob showed up at the shop with a toy monkey, and so far we've won both races we've went to with him on board."
"I think he knew I was just getting too spooled up," Reichert continued. "Sometimes you get too intense, and the next thing you know you're trying too hard and making mistakes. So Bob just told me to look at the monkey and remind myself if the monkey can do it, I can do it. It was a good way to lighten me up. So Bar's Leaks the Monkey has a permanent spot in the car, and hopefully we keep winning with him."