Queensland's Shane Tucker turned the page to the next chapter for his Pro Stock racing career during last weekend's NHRA Amalie Oil Gatornationals in Florida.
During that race the NHRA Mello Yello series invading Aussie debuted for the first time in competition a brand new 2014 Pro Stock Camaro.
Despite a rather spirited effort by his entire team, in the end Tucker just missed qualifying for the super swift field as his best run of 6.617 secs at 211.03 mph fell just short (#17) of the very swift 16-car program which featured a bump spot of 6.591 secs.
While obviously disappointed with not making the eliminations program - Shane still managed to take things in stride and came away from the event optimistic about the future for his all new Jerry Bickel-built car.
"Prior to the Gatornationals we only had one full run on the new car," Shane revealed. "So we were forced to do our testing during qualifying. With a brand new car there really isn't a initial set up that you can just put in it and go. Every car is different and it's all about searching for that sweet spot that the car likes."
"We also knew going into this race that it was going to be tough. Pro Stock at Gainesville is one of the fastest shows of the whole season in NHRA. To get in you need almost perfect runs. All excuses aside -- I think we did have a very real opportunity to qualify during the last session - but I dropped the ball on that one and made a mistake. I'm a bit disappointed about that."
Shane was referring to the car rolling the beams in the staging process which negated the potential for his final attempt.
"This car does react differently then anything else I've driven before," Shane added. "It's for sure the best car I've ever driven but it's still a learning curve for everyone involved. But we'll get there for sure. Aussies have a no quit attitude - that's what we do."
Due to business demands back home for his Auzmet Architectural company, Tucker did confirm that he will now take a bit of a hiatus from the NHRA tour for the next 5-6 events in order to address that. Right now his team plans are to return back to the States to run at either Englishtown NJ or Bristol TN events coming in June.
Shane also expects a continuance with engine builder Victor Cagnazzi, at least for the time being.
"At this stage we will continue to use one of Victor's motor programs," he added. "We aren't blind to the fact that in this class without power - you don't really have a chance. We're going to run our own stuff (engine program) eventually but not until we know it's where it needs to be."
Posted by: Bruce Biegler www.DragRaceCanada.com
For more information on Shane's company (Auzmet Architectural) visit: www.auzmet.com.au