: How many funny cars are going to be at the “Night of Fire”?

GC: Well currently there are seventeen cars – nine of our own and eight independent teams.

Australia’s quickest and fastest funny car, the ’57 Chevy of Rick Gauci is the reigning Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car Night of Fire champion and he is looking to retain his title.  (Jon Van Daal photo)

: Last year you had NHRA funny car star, Ron Capps racing the “L.A. Hooker” and this year you have two drivers – Bazz Young driving for Paul Shackelton and Tommy Johnson Jr. making an appearance – how important is the U.S. connection for this event? [New Zealander, Willie White was also there last year and is returning again for this year – Ed.]

GC: It isn’t the main feature but it brings more to the event. When you add Willie White to the equation you can advertise the international aspect to the event and that is certainly a value added aspect of the “Night of Fire” race.  When you have more experienced International racers then you have more cars going side by side down the track. Australians love Americans and hopefully that will bring some more people to the stands as well. This is really an entertainment event and when you include the USA vs Australia vs New Zealand aspect then it brings more to the show.

We have Bazz Young coming – he is really an American, an Australian and an Englishman all rolled together and speaks with an English accent. We also have the two wheelstanders appearing and they are probably more appealing to the kids than anything else, which is a good thing. Here you have the two characters - “The Nitro Sherriff” and “The Rocketship”. We’d like to add one more wheelstander, a school bus.

: Is it hard to get crew guys to man these cars?

GC: A lot of these guys bring their own crews as they have either stepped up from an alcohol or Supercharged Outlaw car.