Three-time Australian Champion drag racer, Graeme “The Bricklayer” Cooper will contest the world’s oldest and most prestigious drag race, the NHRA’s Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis next month.
It will be Cooper’s third visit to the U.S. Nationals having contested Stock Eliminator in 1994 and 2007. He was a class runner-up and went to the third round of eliminations at his first attempt in ’94 before winning his class and claiming a coveted NHRA ‘Wally’ trophy seven years ago.
“There is no bigger or more special drag race on earth than the U.S. Nationals and it’s a privilege to be racing at the ‘Big Go’ again, especially on its 60th anniversary,” Cooper said.
This time, Cooper, 56, will contest the faster Super Stock bracket driving expat-Aussie and former U.S. Nationals winner, Wally Clark’s 2003 Pontiac Grand Am in GT-BA, powered by a 327 cubic inch V8 (Cooper driving the car in the US in 2011, pictured above).
“Wally and I first met at the Nationals 20 years ago and we’ve been great mates ever since,” Cooper said.
“Wally’s the only Australian to have ever won the U.S. Nationals, so to be going back to Indy a third time and racing Wally’s car will be something special.
“I’ve got the chance to live the dream again.”
Cooper and his wife Linda will arrive in the U.S. in mid-August, with three events close to Clark’s base in Niagra, Canada, on the warm-up schedule.
“I can’t thank Linda and Wally enough as without their incredible support, and the assistance and support of ANDRA and the NHRA, none of this would be possible.”
With his famous “Bricklayer” Holden EH Premier Station Wagon, Cooper has won three Australian Super Sedan Championships (1986, ’93, ’95), 34 ANDRA national events and titles and over 50 division events. Included amongst those are a Grand Finals and two Winternationals victories, five South Australian and three Victorian Championships, in addition to 13 Victorian Divisional titles.
Cooper also won the Super Stock title at the Australian equivalent to the U.S. Nationals, the Australian Nationals, while driving a HT Monaro for Tony Busscher in 1998.
The 60th Anniversary Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals will be held at Lucas Oil Raceway, Indianapolis, on the Memorial Day long weekend (27 August – 1 September).