Racing has been a way of life for me since my youngest memories, firstly
travelling around Australia supporting my father and then stepping up to become
an integral part of the Jim Read Racing crew.
Patience was something I had to learn very early, as the younger brother of Bruce I waited for him to show me what to do; I ended up just jumping in until someone told me not to. Finally they figured I wasn’t going to go away so they showed me the basics. I managed to learn all facets of the racing operation from packing parachutes to the top end assembly of a nitro burning engine.
The next step was the longest and hardest lesson in patience, waiting for dad to decide when he wanted to step down; In 2004 I travelled to the USA and successfully completed the driving course at Frank Hawley’s School of Drag Racing in anticipation of the time when dad was ready.
It wasn’t long when the opportunity came for me to drive, but being taller then dad I was quite cramped in the race car, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me, I guess this was my biggest learning experience, with not feeling comfortable in the car and it not responding how I would like it, and then sometimes doing strange things, I had to learn how to adapt to all these conditions both inside the race car and on the race track.
I learned that there is more then just driving a Top Fuel car, there are endless hours of travelling and working and then there is the promotional and sponsorship responsibilities that come with being involved with championship drag racing, a professional racing team and their associated sponsors.
My patience paid off when we acquired a new race car from the United States; together will the support of my wife Julie and our two children Kurtis and Larissa, winning races became a lot easier. In addition to having great family support, our team is fortunate to have the continued support from our sponsors, Auto one, Snap on, Fuchs Lubricants, Wynn’s and MTU Detroit, this has made my learning curve as a Top Fuel driver a lot smoother. Having great racing genes was an added bonus.
Having won the Australian National Drag Racing Association’s highest accolade, the 2005-2006 Top Fuel Championship after 1 year in the sport and being very competitive in the current points standing of the 2006-2007 Top Fuel Championship, I guess having patience was worth it.
To some people it may seem that I’m new to the business that is Championship Top Fuel Drag Racing, but in truth this is something I have been preparing for my whole life.