What it Takes to Get 11,000hp to the Ground
Nitromethane-powered NHRA Top Fuelers and Funny Cars (fuel cars, for short) still use a manual clutch despite the direct-drive transmission, but they’re more complex than what you see in any conventional clutch (even with today’s multi-disc setups). These 3,700°F carousels of steel, titanium, and sintered iron are foot-clutched and centrifugally-activated with a computer-controlled release, get rebuilt between every run, and act as the sole control over power delivery after the 11,000hp Hemi does its job. We hung out with Corey Lee, Del Worsham’s clutch guy and McLeod Clutch’s Paul Lee (no relation) to find out how they’re tuned and rebuilt between rounds during this year’s Winternationals at Pomona.
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