It’s been quite awhile since Australian Pro Stock standout Shane Tucker has made his way to an NHRA event – at least in the capacity of driver. This weekend, Tucker is making his return to NHRA Pro Stock competition in his trick Auzmet Architectural Chevrolet Camaro. However, the car – newly fitted with the required EFI combination and sporting a sleek grey and black look – had yet to take a turn down the quarter-mile before Saturday and the second qualifying session at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
Tucker himself, in fact, had not been behind the wheel since the FallNationals in Dallas in 2014. Busy establishing the American division of his business in Dallas, Auzmet Architectural, and also expecting his second child with partner Rebecca (due any day now), Tucker’s priorities have rightfully been focused elsewhere. Things appeared to be coming together, though, for a much-anticipated return to the factory hot rod category in Charlotte. Until, that is, the dyno got the best of their lone race engine not 48 hours before the first day of qualifying.
The rambunctious yet amiable Aussie had obviously hoped for smoother circumstances, but he found himself surrounded by a very dedicated group of individuals, and they repaired the engine in the knick of time. They pulled the engine off the dyno at 1:21 am after its first and then next 50 runs with the EFI combination, and just hours before Saturday’s first run, they installed the engine in Tucker’s Chevrolet Camaro.
“This first race, I’m really not sure what to expect,” said Tucker before the event. “I don’t have any real expectations, I’m just happy to be out there racing again. It’s all gonna be quite the learning curve, and I guess I’d be a little naïve to think we could come out and be competitive with the short amount of time that we’ve had to prepare. [But] come Indy, I want to be able to challenge to win the race. I don’t want to turn up if we aren’t competitive enough to win the race.”
Before the first run on Saturday, Tucker was eager to state that his “guys have been fairly relentless to get this fixed,” and their persistence and dedication soon seemed to be paying off as the Auzmet Architectural Chevrolet Camaro launched easily and surged ahead to steadily acquire data all the way down the racetrack. Tucker clocked a 6.877-second pass at 198.88 mph in his first-ever run in an EFI-equipped NHRA Pro Stocker, and, undoubtedly, it will only get better from here.
You can follow Shane Tucker via @ProStockTuck on Twitter