Banks Pacemaker Top Fuel Dragster

Gale Banks and Ron Hodgson developed the first twin-turbocharged nitromethane dragster to compete in the elite Top Fuel category of the NHRA.

Gale Banks and Ron Hodgson developed the first twin-turbocharged nitromethane dragster to compete in the elite Top Fuel category of the NHRA. The dragster featured a Gale Banks flat crankshaft 500 ci engine with Keith Black Top Fuel cylinder heads. Banks also designed the unique injector manifold. The Pacemaker dragster incorporated a package of data acquisition parameters that was far ahead of its time. According to NHRA, the 4,500 hp dragster – capable of 300 mph runs– was too much of an insurance liability at the time. As a result, NHRA rules were re-written, banning turbocharging in the Top Fuel and Top Alcohol ranks through this day.

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