Street Machine - - Contents -

STREET Ma­chine Summernats 30 (5-8 Jan­uary 2017) is go­ing to be mas­sive. As we go to print, the ’Nats team al­ready have 1834 en­trants on the books and it looks like the fi­nal num­ber will be north of 2000.

And there are plenty of spe­cial fea­tures planned to cel­e­brate the big an­niver­sary. For starters, five dead-set leg­ends of the burnout world are strap­ping on their hel­mets once more for the plea­sure of the crowd: Chris Chris­tou, Mark Dall’ac­qua, Mark Yardy, Greg Young and Leroy Rees.

Then, in the Elite Hall, Owen Webb is work­ing to get as many for­mer Grand Cham­pi­ons on show as pos­si­ble. And he has a big-name celebrity show car builder com­ing from the US, but we’ll spill the beans on that next is­sue. But what we can tell you is that three of the big­gest names in the sport in­ter­na­tion­ally will be jet­ting into Can­berra to check out their very first Summernats.

While these guys won’t need much of an in­tro­duc­tion thanks to the pop­u­lar­ity of Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel’s Street Out­laws, we had a quick chat to Joe ‘Dom­i­na­tor’ Woods and Jeff ‘AZN’ Bon­nett about their up­com­ing trip to Summernats 30 – and don’t worry, Sean ‘Farmtruck’ Whit­ley will be along for the ride as well. Un­for­tu­nately, they won’t be bring­ing their cars along due to film­ing com­mit­ments, but that shouldn’t lessen their ex­pe­ri­ence of Summernats one lit­tle bit.

For those un­fa­mil­iar, these three guys are part of the orig­i­nal core group of street rac­ers that made up the ‘The List’, the quick­est 10 street cars in Ok­la­homa City, or as they like to call it, ‘the 405’ – the tele­phone area code for OKC. Their claim was that if you were the quick­est in the 405, then you were the quick­est in the land, and af­ter seven sea­sons of rac­ing, call­outs and cash days, it’s a claim that’s been hard to ar­gue with.

Af­ter chat­ting to these guys, it’s clear that they’re not some bunch of made-up ‘re­al­ity’ TV char­ac­ters, they were – and re­main – hard­core street rac­ers. But with the pop­u­lar­ity of the show, there has been an end­less queue of peo­ple try­ing to make it onto ‘The List’ to get their share of the glory. While Dom­i­na­tor is still on The List in eighth spot, he’s had to step up his game con­sid­er­ably to keep up, with the old ni­trous-fed big-block in his Dodge Dart be­ing re­placed with an all-al­loy, twin-turbo set-up: “The old en­gine was a 50-shot off the max­i­mum a 632 could in­gest, so I needed to go up to a 700-900ci ni­trous, but that would have been

about $60,000. It was $10,000 to go to tur­bos.”

For those Mopar fans cry­ing in their Milo, there could be a twin-turbo 572 Dodge Wedge in the car’s fu­ture. “It’s just an en­gine plate and a set of head­ers away,” Dom­i­na­tor reck­ons.

To give you an idea of how com­pet­i­tive The List has be­come, Farmtruck and AZN were the gate­keep­ers of the num­ber 10 spot for a long time, but even that’s too tough a job these days: “Even if it did the best pass of its life it would still lose to the num­ber 10 car, but if we took it back in time to the very start of the show, it would prob­a­bly be in the num­ber five spot,” AZN says.

And what do they know about Summernats and Aussies in gen­eral? “The Aus­tralians are some crazy peo­ple; you’ll find the smallest car pos­si­ble and put the big­gest mo­tor you can build in it and then do burnouts for a half-mile long un­til the tyres pop and you’re on the rims. That’s the cra­zi­est shit I’ve ever seen!” Dom­i­na­tor en­thuses. “I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to see­ing your cars; I re­ally want a Monaro bad – I don’t know if I pro­nounced that right – but I re­ally like the way those look.”

And AZN’S view: “From what we hear, the car cul­ture is some­what throt­tled from the govern­ment stand­point, so what you guys do is as much as you pos­si­bly can within your lim­i­ta­tions, you go ab­so­lutely bonkers and go all-out. You guys are the kings of the burnouts, there’s no con­test. The word ‘burnout’ prob­a­bly isn’t even the cor­rect term for what you guys ac­tu­ally do; there’s a lot of skill in­volved in the low-speed, tyre-con­trolled burnout. To be able to ma­nip­u­late the rear tyres, us­ing physics, to con­tinue to cre­ate the smoke and keep enough for­ward mo­men­tum to main­tain some con­trol, man, it’s a science and an art.”

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