|The rear end for this rail is made by Strange Engineering. Known as a top loader style, it is similar to the top loaders used in Top Alcohol, Funny Car, Top Fuel, and many other pro drag setups. Brian's is just a smaller version of those same setups. Side note: these can be ordered as a 4-link or as a solid mount like Brian's.|
|This is the transmission made by B&J. It is a four speed transmission with a reverser in it so he can back the Lucas Oil/Tap It Brewery rail back from a burnout. Otherwise, 1st gear is always activated and there is no real neutral other than the clutch. There is also no driveshaft, the output shaft of the transmission goes straight into the Strange Top Loader.|
|The clutch is an East West 7.5″ 3 disc slipper-style clutch, but unlike your go-kart or scooter, this slipper is engaged and disengaged by Brian's left foot. Once he leaves, the computer, again using the compressed air, will slowly engage the clutch until finally programmed for full engagement at a specified point in his run. After every pass, they have to remeasure for the air gap between the clutch and the flywheel as it changes as the clutch wears down.|
|Unlike many manual transmissions, this one is push button. No H-pattern to mis-shift or additional levers to get in your way in the cramped cockpit. Brian just uses his thumbs to engage each gear and uses the shift light to tell him when to hit the next gear. The Racepack gauge cluster is also a data logger that gives him data on the clutch, engine, and boost. The push button switch to the left on the steering wheel is for the two-step.|
|No leather seats or fancy trim here. It's just a simple race bucket made of aluminum and enough padding to make the pass comfortable while Fitzpatrick makes his 6.22 passes at 226 MPH.|
|The picture on the left is the push levers for the parachutes, which are engaged just prior to the end of the quarter mile run. They do the primary braking, much like in Top Fuel. Once the car has slowed enough and is under control, the rest of the braking is done by a pull lever hand brake and works exactly like a hand brake for a drift car and directly acts on a Wilwood master cylinder.|
A few final notes I'd like to leave you all with just before I end this feature car article. His father first started out building engines for Sand Drags with old VW engines before trying his hand at this 2JZ-GTE. Brian started his career in Sand Drags as well in the “No Doze” rail and worked his way into this rail and into the NOPI and NHRA Sport Compact Series just before those went defunct. With nowhere to really go, Brian and his father entered Competition Eliminator. Lucas Oil has also been with Brian throughout his paved drag racing career. This engine alone should show the genius the was behind Brian at every event until his last. Brian's father passed away last year at the track during a national.
I would like to thank Lucas Oil, Tap It Brewery, Garrett Turbo, and Fitzpatrick Racing for their hospitality and for letting me look into this Comp Eliminator Rail. It also allowed me to understand a man who is no longer with us and I wish I had a chance to meet. If this rail is any indication, the world lost a great engineer.
Read my past articles here!