Aussie expat Mathew Leonard has made a switch to nitro for his altered team, with their first event showing both the highs and lows of the idea.
With brother Warren over from Adelaide to assist, Mathew was competing in the 6.0 Fuel Altered Class at the recent Boise Nightfire Nationals.
A best of 6.118/230mph in qualified him number three out of nine cars.
“For only our first full pass and fifth pass total running nitromethane, I was pretty happy with how the car performed,” Mathew said.
Unfortunately the lower end of the engine suffered some damage.
“I backed the motor down a good amount to get it down the track. After inspecting the car following the 6.11 run we found that main caps 2, 3 and 4 had split down the outer section where the side bolts come in. We could have run the engine again but with another event coming up I decided it wasn't worth causing more damage just to pad my ego by running nitro. I'm not going to lie, running nitro is pretty bloody awesome though.”
The team stripped the car and motor and had new main caps installed within 48 hours. They converted the combination back over to alcohol in preparation to run Competition Eliminator at the double divisional event this weekend at Rocky Mountain Raceway in Salt Lake City.
“With us losing the track this year in Salt Lake City to make way for more warehouses (because we always need more empty warehouses), I wanted to make sure to be there for the track and have a great send off for all the people that have supported me over the years and put on a good show for the crowd.
“It's a double event, so we'll be qualifying on Thursday, elimination on Friday. Event two qualifying is all day Saturday and round one Saturday night, the rest of eliminations goes into Sunday. This gives us two chances to get an NHRA Wally trophy.
“The team have done an awesome job to not only get the car ready to run nitro but also repair the engine and get it converted over to alcohol in such a short time. Warren, Mike, Scott and Cory busted their asses to make sure we were going to be ready. Dave from Dave's Complete Auto went above and beyond to get the block back in time for us to go play again. With the help from Cleanboost, B&J Trans, Gabel Group, Angry Goat, DJ Safety and our families we get to keep going fast.”
Check out some nitro flames from the Aussies below!