Parks looks to make history in "Six" City

By John Drummond, Goodguys P.R.

Twenty-year-old drag racer Scott Parks of Burlingame, Kans., is hoping that Christmas will come a little early this year at next weekend¿s Goodguys/K & N Filters 16th Nitro Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Instead of arriving in a neatly-wrapped package though, the present he wishes to receive will be in the form of a small white piece of paper -- an official time slip from LVMS. He¿s looking to become drag racing¿s first six-second Junior Fuel racer. Parks came oh-so close, within three ten-thousandths of a second, of being the first Junior Fuel drag racer to run a sub-seven second elapsed time during last month¿s Goodguys/K & N Filters 45th March Meet in Bakersfield. At the Bakersfield race, he reeled off three 7.01 passes and in the semi-finals of Sunday¿s eliminations brought the crowd to their feet with a 7.003.

The significance of Junior Fuel¿s first six-second run is not unlike that of top fuel¿s first four-second run, logged some 16 years ago in April of 1988 by Texan Eddie Hill. But in contrast to their blown and injected big brothers, Junior fuel cars have no blower to spin for extra power and the fuel used is straight methanol ¿ not nearly as volatile as nitromethane. In Junior Fuel racing, it¿s all about squeezing as much horsepower as you can out of a naturally-aspirated engine. That power comes from flowing as much air-fuel mixture as possible through the cylinder heads, which in Park¿s case are configured after a small block Chevrolet engine.

Parks races with his father Frank, a veteran Midwestern-based chassis specialist, who meticulously prepared his son¿s dragster. He¿s won plenty of Goodguys events, but none were as sweet as his victory at last month¿s March Meet, referred to by many as vintage drag racing¿s ultimate race. "We got our March Meet win, and now we¿re looking to make history in Las Vegas," said the energetic drag strip terror. "The Strip at LVMS is now the world¿s fastest drag strip with Doug Kalitta running 335mph earlier this month at the NHRA event, and now we¿d like to add a little vintage drag racing history to the place," he said.

However ¿ with the elevation of the Strip, Parks was quick to point out that they have their work cut out for them. Engines running at higher altitudes have less oxygen to work with then when they run at sea level and the air density will play a key role in whether or not the magic "six" will come to fruition. "We¿ll keep a close eye on the barometric pressure," Parks said. "We scrubbed off as much weight as we can and even took the wings off the car. We¿ve flowed the cylinder heads time and again and have gotten every square inch of performance out of this car that we can. Now it¿s all in Mother Nature¿s hands."

Qualifying for the Goodguys/K & N Filters 16th Nitro Nationals kicks off Friday, April 30, at 3:00 p.m. and continues through the evening under the lights at LVMS.