So you want to work on a Funny Car? Here’s an inside look at the service after a run with Chris Stillwell, crew member on Matt Hagan’s Mopar Funny Car.
When your engine produces about 8,000 horsepower those components go through a lot of wear and tear just from a single race. This is why Funny Cars and Top Fuel dragsters have to go through an engine tear down and rebuild after every race, so the mechanics can inspect each component and ensure that it can withstand another race.
When the time between races is only about 90 minutes long, a race team must be able to tear down, inspect/replace, rebuild, and get ready for the next run very quickly. The competition therefore not only exist amongst the drivers and the length of asphalt between the starting line and the checkered flag, but also between the entire race team and how well they work together on race day.
To see how hectic (and just as ridiculously fast as the funny car races themselves) the engine tear down can really be, check this POV shot of a mechanic taking off the head assembly.
In less than four and a half minutes he gets the body off the car and has the cylinder head off! The teamwork and the nonverbal communication is second to none… that was incredible and you can tell he wasn’t even at his best. Actually this video is filmed at preseason testing… Chris was a little rusty from the off season! Usually he need about 3 min. to do the job. WOW!