The workshop at Jim Read Racing has been quiet for the last 8 months but that's all about to change.
Crew Chief Bruce Read explains. "With the loss of a number of sponsors to other motorsports, our last race was the 2012 Winternationals in the teams 'Red' car. As a family we decided to step back from competition to see where the sport and Top Fuel in particular was headed."
"Recent developments in Top Fuel have been extremely encouraging and there's a real sense of unity amongst the teams," said Bruce. "The establishment of the Top Fuel Owners Association is a positive move for the category and we're excited to be part of it."
With the red car sold to New Zealander Tony Marsh, Jim Read Racing has pulled the covers off the "Black Mamba", the name given by Santo Rapisarda to the teams' dragster that took Phil Read to 3 consecutive Top Fuel Championships.
"That car was practicaly unstoppable from 2006," said Bruce. "Black Mamba is currently being front halved and brought up to spec. The car is due back soon so we're spending our time in the workshop getting all the parts and equipment ready so we can hopefully start testing in early May."
So Jim, Denise, Bruce, Phil and the entire crew are back doing what they love best; Top Fuel Drag Racing. "We're not coming back to come second," said a determined Bruce Read. "The comeraderie is really good with the other teams but we're going out there to win. Sure you can't win them all... but you should try to."
While the team doesn't currently have a major sponsor, they are in talks with a number of national companies who have shown interest in the team's marketing potential.
Bruce is quick to point out however that without the support or there loyal associate sponsors there's no way the team would be contemplating a return to Top Fuel.
"Without support from Snap-On, Crane Cams, Odyssey Batteries, Champion Spark Plugs, Valvoline, Wynn's and Arturos Pizza & Pasta none of this would be possible."
With Jim Read Racing, Martin Stamatis and Mark Mariani all preparing a return to Top Fuel, it looks like a great season ahead for nitro lovers.