CONCORD, N.C. (April 25) — Third-year driver Shane Conway probably will not be a threat to the Top Alcohol Dragster world championship again this year simply because his business endeavors in Houston keep him from running a full-time schedule. But that’s not to say he won’t influence the outcome of the title chase, or any race he enters for that matter.
Tuned by his accomplished father, longtime NHRA standout Tom Conway, Shane has made a habit of knocking off some of the biggest names in the category in the handful of races he runs each year. That was the case two weeks ago in Houston when he stalled top-10 runner Mike Bucher in Round 1.
“Every time we run this car we are learning things,” Shane said. “We only have 12 runs on this car since the guys at Copeland Race Cars updated everything so every time we run it we find something that we like.
“Even though we ran this chassis before with Mike (Manners) driving it and me tuning it, the fact is I don’t drive it the way he does, so it’s been changed a bit. Plus, we’ve changed a lot of other stuff from when Mike owned the car so it’s a different car now.”
This weekend’s race marks the third of the year for the Conway clan. They’ve competed at one regional and one national event so far, in Dallas and Houston, respectfully.
“We just have to get some more laps on it and figure out what it wants,” Shane said. “We’ve already been in the 5.20s with it and it’s also been more than 275 mph so it’s definitely got the potential.
“Whenever you have a car freshened up it changes some things and that’s what we’re working through right now. It was nice to get the round win in Houston, especially against a top team, but we always want more. I think we can do better.”
Racing at zMAX Dragway, at least from behind the wheel, will be another new experience for Shane as he continues his transition from crew chief to driver.
“I raced in Charlotte last year with Doug Foley,” Shane said. “We also went there a couple times with Mike Manners, but this will be my first time racing Charlotte as a driver. That’s like Houston; I’d been racing in Houston since 1999 but never driven there until two weeks ago.
“Hopefully, we have some more success. At the very least we don’t want anyone to take us for granted.”