If you missed Shane Tucker’s Pro Stock win at the 2012 Winternationals, don’t feel too badly. Tucker is the only driver in this week’s Pro Stock field with a chance to become a Winternationals’ winner on two different continents.
The fact is, unlike NHRA rivals Greg Anderson, Jason Line and Jeg Coughlin Jr., Tucker didn’t hoist his Winternationals’ hardware at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, site of this week’s 59th renewal of the NHRA’s traditional season opener.
The just-turned-34-year-old Tucker won his title at Willowbank Raceway in Queensland, Australia, 7,200 miles away from the L.A. County Fairgrounds track on which he will launch his first serious bid for an NHRA Mello Yello championship at the wheel of a Chevrolet Camaro backed by Auzmet Architectural and StructGlass.
Nevertheless, the charismatic Australian’s four-round victory in the 45th annual Australian National Drag Racing Association Winternationals was no less meaningful than Anderson’s same year success in the NHRA version.
“We had a lot of success in Australia and now we want to start building our racing resume in the U.S.,” said Shane Tucker. “We have raced a few races over the past few years but this year the goal is to race the full season and make a run at the Countdown.”
To increase his chances for success Tucker has teamed up with veteran engine supplier and consultant Nick Ferri.
“We have been working on our own for a number of years with some assistance here and there,” explained Shane Tucker. “We were building our Auzmet Architectural business here in the States so we could only run select events.
“We are excited to finally be able to focus a little more on racing and working with Nick Ferri Racing shows how serious we are. Nick has done amazing things with previous world champions and we have that same kind of championship attitude here at Rob Tucker Racing.”
Nick Ferri Racing will supply engines and consult with Tucker and his team on the set-up. In the past, Ferri worked with Jegs, Cagnazzi Racing, Mike Edwards Motorsports and most recently Elite Performance for a combined 5 world championships in Pro Stock.
The last time Tucker rolled into Auto Club Raceway at Pomona it was 2014 and the young Australian qualified No. 16 and was ousted in the first round by Vincent Nobile. This year Tucker has more experience and a focused outlook on his expectations.
“In 2014 that was my first NHRA national event. It was a blur. We qualified and then raced Vincent on race day. It was a great experience and I have a bit more experience this time around. This weekend will be a great opportunity to get the season started on the right foot for the Auzmet/StructGlass Camaro,” added Tucker.
Qualifying for the 59th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtecttheHarvest.com will be begin Friday at noon and 2:30 p.m. and continue on Saturday at noon and 3:30 p.m. with final eliminations commencing Sunday at 11 a.m. FS1 will televise three hours of live eliminations coverage at 5 p.m. (ET)
Tony Fay Public Relations