GEICO Powersports Top Fuel team revamps tune-up in attempt to go faster ST. LOUIS (April 27) -- The high-pitched whirring of a clutch machine and roof-rattling rumble of an engine dyno at it's nitro-gulping extreme have become commonplace at ...
GEICO Powersports Top Fuel team revamps tune-up in attempt to go faster
ST. LOUIS (April 27) -- The high-pitched whirring of a clutch machine and roof-rattling rumble of an engine dyno at it's nitro-gulping extreme have become commonplace at Morgan Lucas Racing's headquarters in Brownsburg, Ind.
"I just wear earplugs all the time now," Lucas Oil crew chief John Stewart said, shaking his head. "Once Jimmy (Walsh, crew chief of the GEICO Powersports dragster) gets going on that dyno he's there all day. I wonder what our neighbors think?"
Considering most of MLR's neighbors are competing race teams from the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, they're probably more worried about what Walsh is cooking up inside the state-of-the-art facility than they are about the noise.
"Yeah, we've been working a lot of late nights," Walsh admitted. "We've completely changed what we're doing inside the bell housing (clutch) and, regardless of what other crew chiefs might tell you, when you make a change with the clutch you're going to make changes to the tune-up. That's where we're at right now.
"Having a clutch dyno and an engine and blower dyno gives you an invaluable amount of information. You can make a bunch of pulls in a day, where if you were at the track testing you'd only get two or three runs. It speeds up your learning curve."
This weekend's national event at Gateway International Raceway, just a few hours drive from the team's home base, will offer Walsh and driver Morgan Lucas a second chance to see where their new direction is taking them. The big changes began before the last stop in Las Vegas and Walsh was encouraged by what he saw there.
"It's responding to what we're doing and that's a good thing," Walsh said. "We need to run with the best cars out there -- not just every once in awhile but all the time. The way the Countdown (playoffs) are set up allows teams to try some things during the regular season and still run for the title at the end of the year.
"We want to be totally switched over and up to speed as soon as possible. We think this is the future of how we're going to run this car."