One moment Stevie “Fast” Jackson was finishing up a run at the Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals, the next he was in the wall. He’s been doing this long enough to understand the perils of Pro Modified. It’s not a matter of if you will crash, it’s when you will.
The mishap has caused Jackson to seek an alternative universe this weekend.
Jackson will race a nitrous car this weekend.
“I don’t really know how we are going to do yet, and it’s going to be exciting to see if all that s*** I talk is really something that’s doable or not,” Jackson admitted. “It’s been a whirlwind of the last three days; I mean a whirlwind. I’m prepared to fix anything on the car except for the car. So this has been a learning experience for me. Getting what you think will be a competitive Pro Mod together in three days is difficult.”
Jackson has raced a nitrous car before, but never on this big of a stage, the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals.
“I haven’t driven a nitrous car since 2016,” Jackson explained. “And I’m pretty decent at tuning them, but we’ll just have to see. It’s a really quiet sounding power plant when you’re used to driving a supercharger. It’s definitely a little bit of a different way that you have to drive the thing.”
Jackson, for once, will be able to hear himself think.
“I’ll be able to hear everything.,” Jackson said. “I’m used to hearing just my eardrums blown out. That thing sounds like a tree is running in there.”
While one would assume Jackson would likely set his sights on outrunning the benchmark standard for nitrous cars in Rickie Smith, the champion has larger aspirations.
“Hell, no. I’m not worried about him.,” Jackson explained. “I’m worried about all the 40 vultures down there. There’s some hot rod race cars. That ProCharger combination’s awesome. Rickie’s always fast, running good, and you got a host of blower cars. You’ve got Todd Tutterow down there. That’s the one you got to outrun.”
Jackson is putting the incident behind him, citing “this isn’t the first time I’ve wadded one of these cars up.” He has no choice but to have a short-term memory.
“It’s not that it’s easy, you just learn to process a lot more,” Jackson explained. “You learn to be more prepared. You learn to have some stuff laying around. Fast door car racing, you can crash at any time. It’s amazing how out of control these cars can get in the shutdown area.
“You see way more wrecks in the shutdown area that you do on the track. Every time I’ve ever crashed one of these things, which this is the second time, it’s been in the shutdown area. I don’t want to say that you’re better at it, but you’re definitely more prepared about what to expect going forward.
“I want to have my car fixed and ready to run in Charlotte, which that’s a short amount of time away. But I’ll be back in my horse for Charlotte.
“One of the biggest questions I get from novice drivers is, what scares you the most about driving one of these things? And I tell every single one of them, you do not ever really know what’s going to happen when you jerk that chute lever. Nine out of 10 times, it’s smooth and calm, and then there’s those three or four runs a year where it takes the whole car up and sets it down a foot out of the groove, two-foot out of the groove. And there’s really no way to prepare for that. So you just got to let go of [manhandling] the wheel, let go of [manhandling] the brake, quit driving for a second. And that thing will settle right down where it’s supposed to most of the time.”
Sunday in Bakersfield, Ron Capps won in his third different nitro category when he drove the Herzog AA/FA to the #MarchMeet title. Check out the video at the bottom too. #DragRacingNews – https://t.co/dWc3m2MugV pic.twitter.com/NNyHjju9Mi
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) March 10, 2020