Azusa, Calif. June 5, 2009 - - "Believe me there's no one more unhappy about having to make this announcement than me. I know that we're going to disappoint a lot of our great fans in the Midwest. Unfortunately, we're just not going to be race ready for the NHDRA Dieselnationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park tomorrow" so said Gale Banks as he reluctantly withdrew his team's dual entry for the prestigious June 6 all-diesel racing event at Indianapolis.
Banks had scheduled the competition debut of his latest diesel-powered drag racer, the Sidewinder Top Diesel for tomorrow's NHDRA event in Indianapolis. The dart-shaped, rear-engined, full tube-framed, single-seater is aimed at quarter-mile runs in the mid-low 6-second range with anticipated trap speeds exceeding 200+ miles-per-hour.
Pre-race testing has seen many strong runs for the machine, but has also turned up a number of small (but critical) problems which have hampered the vehicle's progress and delayed it's entry into open competition. "This is the part of professional racing that they refer to as 'character building'," said Banks. "We really wanted to see this new machine run at Indy, it's one of the classic drag strip venues and we have many strong supporters in that part of the country who had been expecting to see us there."
The Banks team had also been set to send the Dragster's stablemate, the Banks Sidewinder Chevy S-10 to the races at ORP. That machine already holds title as the quickest/fastest (7.77 seconds at 180 miles-per-hour!) diesel-powered drag racing pickup truck on the planet.
Driven by top pro Wes Anderson, the short, blunt-nosed Banks machine is a true crowd-pleaser which has set and re-set records in Diesel Pro-Stock just about every time that it makes a run in competition. Both of these "Sidewinders" race cars use Banks-modified variations of the sturdy 6.6-liter General Motors Duramax V-8 diesel engine.
Horsepower and torque figures are both almost surrealistic at well over 1,300 (each!), and both Banks machines are aimed at blowing away records without blowing any discernable engine smoke during race runs. Leaving a cloud of billowing black smoke in the air after a fast pass down the dragstrip is most definitely NOT on the Banks racing agenda.
These techniques and the technology behind them have critical application in many of the new products and processes that Banks Power tests on the tough "battlefield" of professional drag racing. These are lessons learned where the competition is fierce and the stakes are high.
"There's plenty of racing season left," said Banks. "We'll get this one right and be out there running again very soon. I think that our fans will find the results well worth their wait."