Australian-born NHRA AMS Pro Modified driver Troy Critchley enjoyed one of his finest outings of the season with a quarter-final finish during the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. He also did it in rapid fashion by establishing the quickest-ever mile per hour in the history of the series with a 239.40 trap speed behind the wheel of the AMS Staff Leasing-sponsored 1970 Barracuda. Critchley’s day could have gone even further had it not have been for parts attrition and an inexpensive part at that.

Just to think, a $5 part was the only thing that was able to negate a .42 starting line advantage over Tony Pontieri. Yes, you read that correctly – over four tenths of a second.

“It sickens me to think about it,” Critchley said. “You do everything you can to win and we definitely had a strong car on Monday and then that happened. One bad break does not ruin a weekend of good fortunes and we certainly had a lot to be thankful for as Indy.”

Call Critchley a speed demon or call him what you want, but after Indy you can call him the fastest Pro Modified racer in the United States. It’s a combination that he wants to make a household name – power by Critchley and tune by Moon.

Howard Moon, the veteran tuner for the AMS Rage team also directed Critchley’s teammate Josh Hernandez to the winner’s circle. Last year they combined for a top qualifying position and a runner-up finish. Moon definitely knows Indy.

The interesting part of the scenario is if Critchley could have secured the victory, he would have faced Hernandez in the semi-finals.

“It would have been a race at Indy that people would have talked about for a long time,” Critchley said.

Race fans were already talking after Critchley entered eliminations as the 10th quickest qualifier with a 6.140, 237.38 best.

In the opening round, Critchley fired his first major volley with a victory over Chip King with his best run of the weekend. He nailed the timers with a 6.077 at over 239 miles per hour.

During Monday’s quarter-final race against Pontieri, Critchley did have a monster starting line advantage because of two factors. Pontieri was extremely tardy and Critchley (.028 reaction time) was extremely quick.

Less than four seconds in the run, Critchley’s machine stopped pulling and he could only watch helplessly as his weekend ended.