Gale Banks and Ron Hodgson developed the first twin-turbocharged nitromethane dragster to compete in the elite Top Fuel category of the NHRA.
Gale Banks and Ron Hodgson developed the first twin-turbocharged nitromethane dragster to compete in the elite Top Fuel category of the NHRA. The dragster featured a Gale Banks flat crankshaft 500 ci engine with Keith Black Top Fuel cylinder heads. Banks also designed the unique injector manifold. The Pacemaker dragster incorporated a package of data acquisition parameters that was far ahead of its time. According to NHRA, the 4,500 hp dragster – capable of 300 mph runs– was too much of an insurance liability at the time. As a result, NHRA rules were re-written, banning turbocharging in the Top Fuel and Top Alcohol ranks through this day.
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A friend asked for a race car sponsorship recently, but we usually don’t do that. When it comes to race cars, trucks or boats…it’s more fun to build and race our own! And, that way, if we do it wrong, win a race or set a record, it’s our own doing.
When it comes to fuel, ... Read more
There it was, all 19 (and change) feet of gleaming black carbon fiber: the Banks Top Diesel Sidewinder main body, floating there in space, 6 feet high with that really “speed hungry” looking snake on the side that seems spitting out a warning to watch out for some Duramax diesel-powered drag racing speed in the ... Read more
This “Quiet Revolution” ended when NHRA banned turbocharging in the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories, but the science and knowledge live on at Banks.
With the possible exception of Buddy Ingersoll and his amazing “tur-blowed” Buick Regal, the fine art of turbocharging at the digs has been about as successful as the NHRA’s ill-fated nitro ... Read more