NORWALK, Ohio (June 21) — Shane Conway has never driven a racecar down Summit Motorsports Park so he’s looking at this weekend’s NHRA National event as the perfect place for a fresh start in his Magic Dry/CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Alcohol Dragster.
“I like Norwalk, I just haven’t raced a car there myself,” said Conway, who hails from Spring, Texas. “I’ve been there as a crew chief and I’ve been there as a crewman, just not as a driver. I was crew chief on Mike Manner’s team when he won Norwalk in 2010 and now he’s a sponsor on our car with his company, Anglia Homes, so that’s kind of cool.
“My dad (vaunted drag racer Tom Conway) had a huge win in Norwalk in 2008. He actually hadn’t driven a car in like 11 years and had the urge to drive again so he returned at Norwalk and won the race. Funny thing is, he won’t be here this weekend. He’s actually going to the drag boat race in San Angelo (Texas).”
Just like his young career — he won his first-ever Top Alcohol Dragster race in Noble, Okla., last year — Conway’s season started off great with a No. 1 qualifying effort at the Dallas regionals. But in his four races to date, he’s only won a single round of eliminations.
“I should have retired after Noble,” Conway said with a hearty laugh. “I could have saved us all a lot of time, money and frustration. But there’s no doubt it’s a lot of fun to drive this Magic Dry/CatSpot Dragster.
“We’ve been struggling with the heat. We’ve used a lot of passes to scuff tires for the two CatSpot Top Fuel dragsters (driven by Scott Palmer and Dom Lagana) and the two CAPCO Top Fuel dragsters (driven by Steve and Billy Torrence) and we’re having issues getting them to work for us with any consistency.
“The CAPCO guys like them back after one run and Scott likes them back after two runs and it’s been hard for us to get a good combination and tune up with a different tire pretty much every round. We can do it, for sure, we just have to keep working at it to figure out what our car wants.”
Taking some steps in the direction of consistency, Conway and crew recently attended a regional race in Tulsa, Okla., to work on their car without outside concerns.
“We felt like we needed to make more laps so we went to Tulsa,” Conway said. “It’s one thing to test and another entirely to run a race set-up to NHRA specs. Plus, you can gauge yourself against the other teams and see how you stack up.
“We’re looking forward to turning the corner on our hot weather combo this weekend. We certainly won’t be holding anything back.”