- Wednesday 07 May, 2014
Just three events into the ’14 season, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Top Alcohol Dragster driver Bill Reichert has already earned two semifinal finishes and a win, and amplifying those accomplishments is this week’s announcement that he will be recognized during a pre-race ceremony as Grand Marshal for the 8th Annual Mickey Mart Rewards Cavalcade of Stars presented by Budweiser, May 16-18 at Summit Motorsports Park.
Reichert, a Michigander who owns Reichert Racing Engines and is currently seventh in national points and first in North Central regional points, was introduced to racing as a teenager via go-karts before moving to a ’64 GTO followed by a ’65 Chevelle and a ’69 Camaro. With a desire to go even faster in ‘92, he bought a Bowen-built dragster, gave it a 452 cubic-inch engine, a supercharger and a sip of alcohol and let it rip to a 5.40 in Top Alcohol Dragster. After two wrecks — the first of which rendered him unconscious — he moved to a different Bowen-built chassis in 2000, set it up with a 425 cubic-inch engine and nitro and has held the national record for speed and ET in Top Alcohol Dragster with a 5.10 and 284.75 mph since ‘07.
Boasting about 3,500 horsepower, the dragster is maintained and tuned by Reichert and his son, Andy Reichert, who skillfully determine how much clutch to give their combination, whether to offer it more or less fuel for various track and weather conditions and control ignition timing.
As a result, Reichert is a 5-time NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Top Alcohol Dragster national champion and 9-time NHRA North Central Division Top Alcohol Dragster champion, and has earned 28 national event wins, 50 national event final round appearance, 39 national event top qualifiers, 52 regional and divisional event wins and 76 regional and divisional final round appearances. His sponsors include Bar’s Leaks and Rislone, Clevite, NGK Spark Plugs, Lane Automotive and Allstar Performance.
“I certainly didn’t see this coming and never thought I would be named Grand Marshal, but it’s quite an honor for me, and I’m very appreciative,” said Reichert. “I’m looking forward to the race.”
The 8th Annual Mickey Mart Rewards Cavalcade of Stars presented by Budweiser will feature supercharged Funny Cars, supercharged and nitromethane-injected dragsters, nitromethane-burning Top Fuel Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the jet-powered Kenworth truck driven by Bob Motz, jet-powered Nostalgia Funny Cars, Outlaw Drag Drag Radial cars, AA Gassers and more than 600 racecars. For information, call 419-668-5555 or visit www.summitmotorsportspark.com.
By Mary Lendzion