In a quick telephone interview with Steve Reed the night before the event, he imparted with us what it’s like to be getting ready for this weekend’s Santos Super 3 Extreme 400Thunder round at Willowbank Raceway.

When asked about the Reed Family Racing’s approach to this weekend, the second generation of 3 generations of racers was extremely humble and honest.

“I like the event and the three round format, I think it’s ‘win-win’ for the spectators. We are a little bit behind the 8-ball with 3 guys in the country running 5.40’s and have run 5.30’s. The quickest we have gone is 5.50. So, we have a  little bit to catch up and we will probably try to play the consistency game. We went away from our game plan in Perth, normally I’m happy to put down plenty of nice low 5.50 runs and try and beat them with consistency. But…..I got caught up in the hype of guys running 5.40’s and stuff like that and tried throwing my hat into the ring of doing that as well. It didn’t come to fruition and we hurt some parts….which we haven’t done for a long time…so I wasn’t real happy about that.”

“Perth wasn’t a success for us. With the hurt gear from that, we are rebuilding and still not ready for race day yet…. so we have a big day and night to try and get the car buttoned up and finished. We will be going to the race with limited spares…. so hopefully it all pans out… we won’t be going out there to try and take it up to these guys that can run 5.40’s. I don’t know how to run 5.40’s!  I don’t know how to run 5.30’s!  Do we need some updated parts?….. yeah probably. Do we need to be smarter?… yeah probably. I probably need a new body, some later parts, and I need to get smarter.”

I put to Steve that was a standard drag racers conundrum, a need for more money, more parts and more testing.

“Yeah.. that’s it.. that’s it” Steve laughed.

When asked if the team was running the latest Noonan or AJPE heads and billet manifold setups, Steve’s reply was quick and to the point.

“Nah mate, we’ve got none of that mate. We need some later model cylinder heads, a new PSI Supercharger and we definitely need a new body. Ours is a early 2000’s Nitro Pontiac body. There’s quite a lot of aero we can pick up more suited to an alcohol car. This is hurting our mph.”

Steve also reiterated that “We probably aren’t smart enough to run that fast… you know… we haven’t come across that combination…. we haven’t thrown enough ideas or thoughts at it to run that fast you know.  We tried more of everything at Perth: blower, fuel, timing, clutch etc then said ‘okay, let’s send it’ and that didn’t work out. So back to ‘steady as she goes’ and if the quicker times come, they come. We’ll build on that. We need to go back and chip away at things. Some of these other guys seem to be able to push out 5.40s at will. It’s not just a random thing now.

Over the next two days, 3 generations of Reed racers including dad Jim, wife Debbie, son Daniel and all the regular crew will be working hard to run some low 5.50’s and bring the car home intact.

We wish the Reed family the very best of luck in this weekend’s 400Thunder’s Pro Alcohol class at Willowbank’s world class drag racing facility.

Brett Hore

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Image: The Westerner