Sprint cars are fat-tired, big-winged, alcohol fueled monsters that roar around tiny tracks with as much horsepower and downforce as a Formula 1 car- but with decidedly less technology (sprint cars have no transmission or on-board electronics, for example) in play. They’re brutally fast, stupid loud, and incredibly fun to watch, and they assault your senses with visuals like this …
… which is pretty cool in itself. Still, sprint car fans always seem to wonder: how fast will they really go?
That’s the question that Damion Gardner set out to find out earlier this year, when he took the Green Demon- a modified 2010 “Beast” chassis sprint car- out to Bonneville’s famous speed week in a bid to become the world’s fastest sprint car driver.
The team was aiming for 200 MPH, but Damion averaged “just” 197 MPH on his passes- which is still a record, according to the guys I talked to at PRI. Getting to that 197 MPH, though, took lots of work.
Despite the “standard” chassis, the world’s fastest sprint car is highly modified, with an aerodynamic sort of “bullet” nose built by Victory Race Cars of California- but that’s not the only trick bit on the car. In an interview, Damian explained that there was “… a lot of fabrication and a lot of trick stuff. It is not like taking a regular sprint car (to Bonneville). It is going to be all narrowed up and have a trick body. Aero is probably going to be the biggest problem with this car– keeping it on the ground because it is so light, has so much horsepower and it is short. It is going to want to spin out and hopefully it doesn’t fly through the air, you know?” The car was “narrowed up” by switching from the asymmetric left/right setup of the “standard” sprint car, which is “staggered” with larger tires on the right side, to a symmetrical left/left setup. In other words, the Green Demon tracks straight now, where a traditional sprint car is set to turn left.
Damian and his crew plan to head back to the salt flats in 2014 to crack that 200 MPH barrier. Good luck, guys!
Original content from Gas 2.