HOUSTON (April 9) -- Although it's still early in his Top Alcohol Dragster driving career, Houstonian Shane Conway says he's ready to win his first national event on the NHRA tour, and he’d love for it to happen at this weekend's 32nd annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil in nearby Baytown.
Conway, who lives in the Houston suburb of Spring, is a veteran drag racer, having competed himself in a variety of Sportsman categories and tuned many others, including current Top Fuel champ Steve Torrence, to numerous championships and race wins. His Top Alcohol Dragster driving career, which started in 2017, has been a part-time effort to date, but he always seems to make the most of his appearances.
"We like to get in there and ruin people's days," Conway said. "We'd love to race more but we have regular jobs to worry about and me and Dad (Tom Conway) still help a lot of other racers. No question, we get great support from Magic Dry Organic Absorbent and CatSpot Litter, so we are able to race hard when we have time, we just aren’t ready to run full-time just yet.
"Racing at home this weekend will be fun. I think we're ready. We had Copeland Race Cars do some updates to the dragster and also had them change it over to a hand brake. We tested in Tulsa three weeks ago and shook off the cobwebs enough to enter the Dallas regional race this past weekend and had a chance to dial it in a little better."
In Dallas, Conway qualified fifth with a best of 5.35 at 268 mph, a run that ended in the sand trap when his parachutes failed to deploy. Fortunately, there was very little damage so Conway was able to race in eliminations -- held on Monday because of rain -- but lost a pedaling contest to Spencer Massey.
"Spencer did a better job pedaling than I did," Conway said. "I didn’t grab the brake the first time I pedaled it and it started spinning again. The second time, I did grab a hold of the brake and got the wheel speed down but I was already out of the groove and it just smoked the tires again. By then Spencer was zooming away.
"This weekend could be a battle with the weather. There are only 13 cars entered so it’s not like anyone has to fight to get in, which is fortunate because there’s a high possibility we will only get two qualifying rounds in if it rains Saturday.
"We will definitely have a lot of friends there this weekend. Mike Manners is back on board with Anglia Homes and he’s local too so I’m sure we will have lots of people hanging around and cheering us on."