Pro Fuel ace Bill Evans setting sights on second title, new records
Mar 16, 2012
He is the fastest man in nitro racing. And he hopes to keep it that way.
With Pro Fuel Dragster being pushed into the Nitro Jam spotlight in 2012, Bill Evans will take over the title as the fastest man on the quarter-mile beginning at the Arizona Nitro Jam March 23-24. And that is exactly the way he likes it.
Ever since Nitro Jam added the 100-percent nitromethane powered class to the tour in 2010, the driver of the “Black Pearl” machine has been on a mission to shatter all records for the class. And so far he has lived up to that hype, producing many of the quickest and fastest laps in Pro Fuel Dragster history. But Evans thinks there is more in the tank. Much more, in fact.
“We want to put this car in the four-second zone,” Evans said. “Our car is certainly capable of such a feat, but we will need to really be on it to put this car where no other car of its kind has been before.”
Evans blasted onto the Nitro Jam scene in January of 2010 with back-to-back wins at the inagural Palm Beach Nitro Jam in Florida, just a few miles from his hometown. Evans went on to win the inaugural Pro Fuel Dragster championship that same year and over the past two seasons has racked up an impressive eight wins and four runner-up finishes. Evans also holds the class records for both elapsed time and speed with a pass of 5.240 seconds at 283.85 miles per hour in September of 2010.
After a runner-up finish to Mike Manners last season, Evans has spent the offseason working on his pirate-themed ride with hopes of resetting his own records and reestablishing himself as the man to beat in the innovative Pro Fuel class.
“We completely refreshed the primary motor that we stopped running early last year. It is back between the frame now and the backup is out of the car and in the trailer where it belongs,” Evans said. “The biggest thing is we completed the install of the clutch management system to try and push this car into the four-second range. The first two races will be all about trying to build a points lead so we have some room and then hopefully after that we can start cranking it up.”
Fans will also be pulling for the Florida native as the new season rolls around as the extremely popular driver once again prepares to campaign one of the most unique rides in Nitro Jam racing. With a pirate theme adoring the side, a skull and crossbones flag flown during burnouts and a wild “anything to win” attitude, Evans and the “Black Pearl” team has become a sensation on the Nitro Jam tour.
“It is all about connecting with the fans,” Evans said. “When people see the flag and the car they are instantly hooked. We have so many kids just going nuts when they see us out on the track.”
This season Evans’ biggest competition will come from a pair of savvy racers in Robin Samsel in the “Predator” dragster and Cherissa Smallwood in the “Nitro and Lace” machine. The two drivers have recorded multiple victories and look to continue that success in 2012 joining a variety of additional racers including Kristen Dennis, Johnny Ahten, Larry Miersch and more.
“I think Cherissa will step up as they have my old crew chief helping them in the tuning department and of course Robin and Tony Samsel were on our back all year last year so we certainly need to improve to stay ahead of those teams,” Evans said. “My crew is still the same band of misfits including John Oliver, Josh Evans and the new guy Angelo. More than anything, I just think we are all excited to get started after eight months off."
Evans will get his season underway at the Arizona Nitro Jam March 23-24, the inagural race for the Pro Fuel Dragster class at Southwestern International Raceway, followed one week later by the San Antonio Nitro Jam at San Antonio Raceway March 30-31.
For tickets to the Arizona Nitro Jam, click here.
For tickets to the San Antonio Nitro Jam, click here.