Laughlin Sits at #4 in Radial vs the World After First Qualifying Session
Team Speed Society Racing’s doorslammer wheelman extraordinaire Alex Laughlin, who just last week was competing in Pro Stock at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals way out on the west coast, made the cross-country trek to the southernmost part of Georgia where he’s competing in Radial vs the World, the premiere class at this weekend’s Lights Out 9 at South Georgia Motorsports Park.
Qualifying kicked off late last night for RvsW, where Laughlin put the supercharged Speed Society C6 Corvette into the provisional #4 spot despite a troubled run of only 4.15 seconds. The car was down on power thanks to a broken rocker arm and tossed the blower belt just past half track, leaving it to coast across the stripe with the engine silent. The team tore into the engine and found the broken rocker as soon as they returned to the pit and got that replaced, as well as the blower belt. The car looked to be on a solid run after a converter change calmed town the launch, allowing the car to hook on the still-marginal track surface. As the weekend progresses, the track itself should continue to improve, and Laughlin’s tuners Frankie Taylor, a legend in the doorslammer world, and Brandon McKinney, refine the tune, look for the car to get quicker with each pass.
Laughlin himself seems to be getting more comfortable behind the wheel of the car, which is drastically different from his Pro Stocker. The most obvious difference is the massive supercharger which gives the ‘Vette more than double the horsepower of his Camaro Pro Stock car. The transmissions are also drastically different, with the Camaro requiring Laughlin to release the clutch with his foot and manually shift four times as the car covers the quarter mile in around 6.5 seconds. The RvsW car launches off a transbrake and Alex shifts only twice as the car clears the 1/8th mile in around 3.8 seconds on a full hit with all eight cylinders firing.
Check back for updates throughout the weekend as qualifying continues all day today and tomorrow until eliminations kick off tomorrow evening. Thanks as always to Justin Malcom from the JMalcom2004 YouTube channel for the excellent footage.