Australian Shane Tucker continues to improve, develop and live the dream of racing against the best in the US. Along with his father Rob Tucker, the team made their second appearance on the 2017 NHRA tour at the Southern Nationals at Atlanta, GA running their own powerplant. Here is the report card thanks to SR Driven and Sadie Floyd.
Qualifying – Shane Tucker qualified his season-best No. 13 at the 37th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals over the weekend at Atlanta Dragway despite Mother Nature’s best effort to wash away qualifying on Friday.
The Pro Stock class succumbed to the persistent rain and qualifying for the day was cancelled. With sunshine on the horizon for Saturday, the Rob Tucker and Tommy Lee-led team knew they had two chances to climb up the ladder and position themselves how they wanted.
In the first session on Saturday, Tucker clocked in with a 6.752-second pass at 204.26 mph, which was right on base with what they ran one week ago at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Tucker and the Auzmet Architectural team returned for the second session and ran a 6.802, 198.38 after Tucker had to finesse his Chevrolet Camaro back into the groove after drifting towards the wall.
“We found a few things this week between Charlotte and Atlanta that was going to affect us,” Tucker admitted. “It’ll head us in the right direction but it kind of put us a couple runs behind. We started from square one today and losing our runs yesterday didn’t help.”
Facing No. 4 Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the first round tomorrow, Tucker said, “I just have to go up there and do my thing and make him earn it ”.
Eliminations – On race day Tucker took on Pro Stock World Champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. Tucker and the Auzmet Architectural/Rob Tucker Racing team did an engine transplant the night before eliminations in hopes of gaining an edge on Coughlin.
Tucker launched in his Chevrolet Camaro and went straight down the boulevard at Atlanta Dragway but at the top end, he had to shove in the clutch because of an engine malfunction. Tucker coasted to a 7.236, 144.03 and Coughlin’s 6.560, 211.26 advanced to the second round.
“When you’re running a limited schedule, every run counts,” Tucker said. “We don’t test either, so you really put yourself behind the eight-ball because you really need every run you can get out here. We just finished our new motor and didn’t have a chance to dyno it properly, so we were going to use it for Q2 through 4. As it turned out, we had to put it in for the first round because we bent an intake valve on our first motor. We had a positive weekend all around. We’ll be back in Epping.”