News ANDRA Updates ANDRA Drag Racing Hall of Fame Class of 2014

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Meet the latest inductees to the ANDRA Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Gentleman Jim Reed and Gary Miocevich will enter the ANDRA Drag Racing Hall of Fame at the gala 2014 ANDRA Championship Dinner on Monday November 3 following the Australian Nationals at Sydney Dragway.


Gentleman Jim Reed

gentlemanjimreedGentleman Jim is Australia's equivalent to America's Don Garlits and Connie Kalitta. At 78 years old, he has been modifying and racing cars for sixty-five years and has spawned three generations of drag racers, Jim and Nelma, Steven and Debbie and Daniel and Fiona.

At thirteen, he modified the 1928 Essex he inherited from his father upping the compression for a significant power increase and in 1955 he raced his modified flathead V8 powered 1935 Ford at the Strathpine ex 'WWII airstrip, running 16 second times over the standing start quarter mile and 100 mph over the flying quarter.

A brief stint in go-carts in the early 19060's was followed by a return to drag racing at the Lowood airstrip in 1965 with a front engine dragster and 1948 Anglia altered he built himself, both powered by Y-block Ford V8s. In 1966 Reed raced his dragster at the 1966 Dragfest - USA Tour as part of the opening meeting for Surfers Paradise International Raceway and he was a founding member of the Queensland Drag Racing Association (QDRA) alongside fellow enthusiasts. As a result Reed was granted life membership in the late 1980s for services to the club and Queensland drag racing. 

By 1968 Reed shortened the dragster to build his first T-bucket altered, and repowering it with a 427 Holman and Moody Ford V8. This led to legendary races against Bob Dunn in his similarly powered vehicle as they tried to beat each other to be the first nine-second altered. After being trumped to the 9-second zone by Graeme Cowin's blown Chev small block altered, he again repowered his own altered with a blown 392-hemi engine. This rapidly improved times and led to a power race in Competition Eliminator as times tumbled. 

The altered wars of the 1970s featured many exciting thrills and memories for the fans and racers, with Reed winning a significant number of meetings, titles and consistently resetting records as the times dropped into the eight second zone.

As new challengers entered the fray, Jim built a new chassis to better handle the rapid rises in horsepower as well as moving to a new Donovan aluminium hemi. He soon began sharing driving duties with son Steven until 1985 when Steve took over as the full time driver for the Reed team. 

In the search for quicker times and more spectator appeal Reed decided to buy the Datsun 2402 funny car of visiting American racer Gary Densham. Without the funds or wish to run nitro, Reed continued to run Competition Eliminator in an alcohol funny car.

During the 1980's a group of the quicker Competition Eliminator racers decided to campaign for a new heads up eliminator featuring blown alcohol powered dragsters, altereds and funny cars. Jim Reed was instrumental in the formation of this new Top Alcohol Eliminator that proved a favourite with racers and fans to this day. Reed Racing have now been competing in Top Alcohol continuously for over twenty-five years with numerous championship victories.

Jim has been at the helm of this team using his tuning, fabrication and innovative skills and during his nearly six decades of racing, Jim has provided tuning advice, engine, supercharging and transmission building services to drag racers Australia wide as well as providing the spectacle that is drag racing through what is now being regarded as the "Golden Years of Drag Racing.”

 

Gary Miocevich

miocevich_garyGary Miocevich has a considerable history in drag racing from many angles. Whether you look at his career as a racer, administrator or as track builder and operator, his vision has always been consistent to provide the most sustainable long term drag racing environment for all stakeholders.

Gary started racing in a 6 cylinder altered in his late teens and progressed through to AA/D in the late 1970’s manufacturing his own cast and machined alloy engine block, heads and superchargers. 

By the early 1980’s he had become unhappy with the way that the former Ravenswood International Raceway in WA was being run and with assistance decided to purchase the venue with Kevin Prendergast and the Collings family.

Gary switched to funny cars about the same time running and resetting the BB/FC record, which stood for many years. He then moved to a new AA/FC with Greg Gower switching to a hemi combination and was the first Australian to run the revolutionary PSI Supercharger, which is now, the standard in Australian drag racing. After that period Gary ran the Thunder Down Under Jet Truck around Australia, which he still owns today.

As the sport began surpassing the capabilities of the old Ravenswood venue during the early to mid 1990’s, Gary started pursuing Government funding for a new drag racing venue closer to the Perth metropolitan area. The State Government supported this provided it was a combined Motorplex. To achieve this goal Gary and his brothers purchased the majority interest in Claremont Speedway, which was located close to the Perth CBD.

Gary was given a free hand to design the most practical and fit for purpose Motorplex which opened in December 2000 at Kwinana Beach in Perth’s southern suburbs. And even with his new track commitments, Gary also drove Jet Dragsters in both the USA and Australia, just for fun during the 2000s.

Gary’s involvement in ANDRA started when he was in his late teens as a Divisional Council member and spanned some 35 years of service in various roles on the ANDRA National Control Council, National Executive Committee and the Australian Drag Racing Promoters Association.

During this time he was a leading advocate for safety at tracks and was a consultant with overseas and Australian Government and private sector organisations that wanted to build drag racing or motor sport venues.

While most don’t end up obtaining the funding to proceed, some fantastic venues were built such as Emirates Motorplex in the UAE and Jeddah Raceway in Saudi Arabia. He and his brothers also worked heavily to fund a new track in Melbourne but unfortunately this project did not get off the ground.

Gary would like to thank all everyone he has met and worked with over the many years. It has certainly been a wild ride, which sums up drag racing perfectly.

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