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The Underdogs: Can They Knock Out The Speed Demon? Or Will They Be It’s Next Victim?

The Underdogs: Can They Knock Out The Speed Demon? Or Will They Be It’s Next Victim?

We’ve already discussed the Battle Royale that was/is expected between the Poteet and Main Speed Demon and the Team Vesco Turbinator. What we haven’t told you is that there are two specific teams that showed up this week with plans to kick the Speed Demon’s ass in pursuit of the famed Hot Rod Trophy. The funny thing about these two teams is the fact that they also represent another common battle between Injected Nitro and Blown Alcohol, although that part of this battle usually happens in only 1320 feet at a drag race near you.

One of these teams is a well know entity here on the Bonneville Salt Flats, and has their name on the Hot Rod Trophy 4 times. We talked about them earlier. Team Nish.


Although they showed up late to Speed Week, team Nish had big plans to shake out a new combo with power coming from famed drag racing icon Jerry Darien. With a complete Darien injected Nitro combo under the body, Team Nish was hoping to make a good showing here at Speed Week in preparation for Mike Cook’s Streamliner Shootout next month at Bonneville. Unfortunately for them, the injected nitro engine was not long for this world as they burned a couple pistons during a run on Tuesday. According to the team, they are packing up and going home, and may not even make it back for Cook’s meet next month. There are still a few other races here at Bonneville this year, so we’ll see if the team can come out to one of them later this year and put on a good showing.

Our favorite underdog at this year’s Speed Week has got to be the Dalton, Jackson, and Meyer Flashpoint Streamliner driven by Bob Dalton. Part of the reason is the fact that this thing has a super sick blown alcohol motor sort of inside the body, and the other is the fact that this team is always having fun. Oh, and theres the fact that some of our car buddies are on the team.



But don’t let the fact that these guys know how to laugh and have fun fool you. This team knows how to tune and how to drive. After a successful 310 mph shakedown run on Monday, the team pulled and checked the bearings, made adjustments and performed maintenance and then came back out for a run today. Their pass Tuesday afternoon was 382 mph and was very soft. I was at the 6 mile when Bob came flying by, and the car looked great but wasn’t pulling as hard as it needed to. Unlike ALL the other teams in the hunt for a 400 mph Hot Rod Trophy Winning run, this pass was clean and oil free. That in itself is a pretty interesting accomplishment.

When we checked in with the team late on Tuesday, they were almost done swapping out the transmission for one with slightly different ratios. Now instead of being geared for 300 mph in first gear, the ratio’s are tighter which should help them surpass the 400 mph mark.

Bonneville Speed Week Streamliner Battle 002

During the swap the team changed the rod and main bearings, which looked perfect when they came out, and did a valve adjustment. Based on data, the team will also be making some tuning changes to clean up the power throughout the rpm range. If Bob and crew continue to make improvements, this could prove to be one hell of an underdog, and who doesn’t love an underdog. Especially one that sounds like at ’80s hair metal band. We approve, and will be shooting a complete feature on the car as well.

Bonneville Speed Week Streamliner Battle 001


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3 thoughts on “The Underdogs: Can They Knock Out The Speed Demon? Or Will They Be It’s Next Victim?

  1. Robert Morris

    I only wish the best for this team. Driver Bob Dalton was the one responsible for helping my son Rob get his promise from me to reality. For staying honor roll from the 6th grade to his 16th birthday he got his promise from me fullfilled. A dragster purchased from the ww2 team out of Sacrameto. Bob installed a small block Chevy motor in it and did all the other million things it took to get it running. Sacramento was the first outing for license passes. If I remember right Rob got his licence at Sears Point nostagia drags. Thanks Bob Dalton for this. You will always be on top of our best friend list . RM

  2. tortoise

    A well-thought-out design. It’s becoming evident that big downforce is needed to go really fast at B-ville. The Speed Demon doesn’t seem to be faster with the big engine than the smaller ones.

  3. Rich Venza

    I first met Bob in 1987. He had made a couple passes in the first version of this ‘liner, and wasn’t very happy with it. My group out of Lincoln Nebraska couldn’t get our borrowed Original Goldenrod ‘liner up to the speeds we needed with out blown Ardun, and were looking for another car. we spent many hours talking with Bob, and came within a whisker of him selling it to us.
    Instead we went home, got Garlits involved, and built Swamp Rat 33.

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