Walshe champing at bit for “best ever” double nitro show

XPRO Nitro Funny Car co-points leader Justin Walshe is torn heading into the upcoming Gulf Western Oil Nitro Champs, stating he wishes he could be on the hill watching at what he expects to be “the best show the sport has ever had” at Sydney Dragway.

For the first time this NDRC season, Nitro Funny Car and Top Fuel will join forces to headline the May 3-5 event, joined by Top Doorslammer, Pro Stock, FuelTech Pro Mod, and the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship.

“At the end of the day, I am even more of a fan than I am a racer, so as pumped as I am to be involved, I would love to be on the hill watching as it is going to be a truly awesome event,” said Walshe.

“It is a tough one for me – I am excited about the thought of sitting in the staging lanes and having Top Fuel Dragsters and Nitro Funny Cars in the lanes ready to go at the same time and racing alongside them, but at the same time I would love to be watching, as I think it is going to be the best show the sport has ever had.”

Justin Walshe (Cackling Pipes)

Walshe heads to the penultimate round of the Nitro Funny Car championship tied for the points lead with Morice McMillin aboard his Harts Paint Supplies Nitro Funny Car, courtesy of two event wins and a runner-up so far this season – including at the bracket’s last round.

“Being tied on the points definitely makes things very exciting, and sees everything on the line,” Walshe said.

“I can’t really put into words how it feels to be tied for the lead heading to the penultimate round – it is just, ‘wow’; it is so exciting.

“Every last point will count, and all those little points like ET bonus points and so on are really going to make the difference come the end of it.

“You can’t leave anything on the table, that is for sure.”

While he may be sharing the box seat on the points table currently, Walshe is hesitant of making any big calls when it comes to his chances of taking out the title – especially with a change in running distance for the bracket for this event.

Justin Walshe (Cackling Pipes)

“You can never be over confident, and while we have had a really good season so far, our car is probably not as set up for the 1000ft running distances as Morice’s is currently, we are more tuned for 1320ft,” Walshe said.

“But having said that, of course we will be giving it everything we can. To win the title would just be awesome; something really special.

“I would be super excited for my team more than anything – all the work they put into these cars is just unbelievable. From a driving point of view, I kind of have the easy job, so if I could win it for them, I would really love to do that.”

Walshe heads into the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Champs fresh from a last round win at Dragway at The Bend’s Festival State Nationals in January.

“That event was too good to be true, that is what I would call it,” he said.

“We went well in qualifying and ran personal bests in both ET and MPH which was super cool.

“Then again on race day the crew did a fantastic job to get me to the start every time and in a position where I could step up and win the final with a holeshot against Morice which felt really good.

“We have now won the first round, were runner-up at the second round, and then won the third event – the worst bit about that runner-up was that we couldn’t make a pass because we broke a clutch pedal, and that saw us lose the ET points as well – if we had kept those, we would still be in the title lead. It just goes to show how important all those little points are that add up.

“Heading into the Nitro Champs, hopefully we can keep some momentum going – it is important with the switch to the 1000ft racing distance that we do not get all wrapped up in the hype of running three second passes, we need to stick with the approach that we have always run! That being that we always prepare the car to the best of our ability and strive to make the startline each and every round.

“We will focus first on consistency and getting down the track, and hopefully we can have some wins fall our way,” he concluded, while thanking Aeroflow, Rocket Industries, Axalta Coating Systems, and 3M Australia for their support.

Justin Walshe (Cackling Pipes)

The Gulf Western Oil Nitro Champs, featuring fire-breathing Top Fuel dragsters and Nitro Funny Cars alongside Top Doorslammer, Pro Mod, Pro Stock, Top Bike (exhibition) and the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship, will be held at Sydney Dragway across May 3-5. Top Fuel and Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship will both be enjoying two rounds of championship racing across the weekend.

For event info and tickets, go to ndrc.tv

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