AMERICAN FRANKIE TAYLOR BAGS THE BIG PRIZE DOWN UNDER WITH VICTORY
American doorslammer drag racer Frankie Taylor scored a monumental victory in his 400 Thunder debut during the AC Delco East Coast Thunder – The Nationals, Round 2 of the Thunder 400 Series.
Taylor, subbing for Australian icon Victor Bray, drove a brand-new Murray Anderson-built 1979 Corvette to the Pro Slammer victory, stopping Paul Mouhayet in the final round.
In winning, Taylor becomes the first American driver since Scotty Cannon to win a major doorslammer event in Australia.
"A very cool weekend all around," Taylor said. "I was happy to be able to deliver for Victor Bray. Ben Bray provided me with an excellent Gulf Western Corvette that delivered when we needed it to. Gulf Western and Century Battery made this possible, and I appreciate them giving me the chance of a lifetime. I hope to get to do this again."
Taylor entered eliminations as the No. 8 qualifier, and after winning over Michelle Davies then took out No. 1 qualifier Scott MacLean in the second.
Taylor then took out series champion Mark Belleri to advance to the finals.
In the final round, Taylor ran a 5.938, 229.04 to easily beat Mouhayet's 7.950.
Bray, still sidelined from a medical procedure last June, was overjoyed with what he considered an incredible effort from his team, and substitute driver.
"We spent some time with Frankie, and it didn't take us long to realize we had a winner," Bray said. "He brought to us, a new way to look at racing doorslammers. I will say this; he truly lives up to the name Mad Man. And now, he's won our Nationals."
In Top Fuel, Damien Harris took our the defending series champion Wayne Newby in the final, to become the first official 1,000-foot era champion.
Harris, who entered eliminations as the No. 2 qualifier, ran a 3.91, 306 to outrun Newby's 6.128.
American Ashley Sanford, competing in her first Australian event, fell in the first round, losing to Harris.
Other Group 1 winners included Steven Reed (Pro Alcohol), Aaron Tremayne (Pro Stock), Chris Porter (Top Bike), and Brad Lemberg (Pro Stock Bike)