Canada, Drag Racing, Feature Article — August 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Terry Spargo sets record at MRP (issue 102)

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By Robert G. Hunter

Terry Spargo has finally set an NHRA Competition Eliminator national record, an accomplishment he has been chasing for several years.

The driver from Delta, BC, set the record in his 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier, a former IHRA Pro Stock, running in NHRA’s A/AP class, that is “Class A Altered equipped with a Planetary Transmission”.

It all started in the mid-1960s when the Spargo Brothers, Terry and Jake, raced a 1940 Ford four-door sedan with a 272-cid Chev engine. Painted orange, it was called the Orange Crate.

The beautifully prepared car raced in the F/Gas class in NHRA’s old Street Eliminator.

Terry and Jake sold the car in the late 1960s and dropped out of racing for family band business.

Catching the racing bug again, Terry bought a fast ’68 Camaro race car in 1995, and the Spargo brothers went drag racing again.

The Camaro was replaced by a ’98 Olds that ran in Top Sportsman and with the Canada West Doorslammers, followed in 2007 by the Cavalier. It was a major step up into the six-second/200-mph zone.

Since 2010, Spargo has concentrated on setting the NHRA A/AP record as the car in legal NHRA trim consistently ran much better than the existing record, 6.77 seconds, but weather and other factors made the record an elusive chase.

Finally, in the last weekend of May, during the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Mission Raceway Park, Spargo realized his dream by setting the NHRA National Record for A/AP at 6.61 seconds and 210.82 mph.

But It was not an easy weekend. He had just installed a brand new one-of-a-kind 715-cid Chev Hemi engine with electronic fuel injection supplied by Sonny’s Racing Engines of Lynchburg, Va.

Along with the challenges of running a new engine and fuel injection system, Terry’s crewman Jim McWilliams was absent due to a work schedule conflict.

Over the weekend, Terry was assisted by his wife, Comp racer Chad Perkin wearing the headset, and Sonny’s Racing Engines’ Todd Hoerner tuning the EFI over the internet from Virginia.

Because the NHRA does not have the equipment to pump a motor as big as his, Terry, assisted by Brian Kikel, had to remove a cylinder head as part of the technical inspection for record certification, and later then put it back together.

That’s a long, long way from running a 1940 Ford four-door sedan.

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