Last year, he helped turn Pro Stock pilot Alex Laughlin into a Top Fuel driver, taking him from 6.50 passes for Pro Stock to 3.70 nitros with astonishing ease, and they’re back on track to run 10 races together in 2022.
He has a Pro Mod car. And a funny car for alcohol. And pull the boat. And of course, the nitro-burning wild studebaker.
Palmer is back behind the wheel of his Top Fueler at the Virginia NHRA Nationals this weekend for the first of a handful of races in the cockpit, and will spend the other weekends of the year achieving other racing goals.
“All I wanted to do when I ran that plump [Top Fuel] The seasons were proving that a little man could be respectable and reach the top ten [standings]Palmer, who finished in the top 10 in back-to-back seasons in 2017 and 18, said. “I did but that doesn’t mean I want to run the whole season in my life.
Choose a series, any series
“I’ve got a Corvette 63 to run in Outlaw Pro Mod and would like to try to run it in the NHRA series. It has a slightly different mix than other blown cars so I’d like to do some testing first so I don’t embarrass myself, and I’d like to continue helping Alex so he can in The end of the composition of his own team.
“Alex’s Havoline deal is a good deal for me, it’s fun to help him roll, but I can’t do more than 10 races with him and he needs his own car because he needs to do a lot of appearances and shows and things I can’t do.
“I have a lot of other things I want to do for the sponsors,” he continued. “It’s exciting for me especially because I don’t have sponsors, I have friends who have big companies, so when I’m not driving [the Top Fuel car] They don’t care, but I have so many people who have helped me get to this point that I just can’t leave it behind. When COVID and . hit [NHRA got shut down]I took this sponsor’s money and did other things with it, running a Midwest Pro Mod deal and some No Prep and Outlaw races.
“When the Nitro Chaos Grand Race came [in 2021] And hearing there were 68 cars in the starting lanes, I wanted to be there, so I bought a Alcohol Funny Car and ended up in second place.
“Because of COVID, I’m out ahead. I have eggs in every basket. If I get tired of one series, I can play another.”
And then there’s the famous Studiela, a left-handed ’53 Studybacker stuffed with a nitro-burning engine right out of the Top Fuel Dragster.
“I can run a Studebaker every weekend on a track,” he said. “I have 50 invitations now to play it any day I’m out of the house.”
The Studezilla is a wild piece, with 12,000 horsepower and a 112-inch wheelbase, and to say it’s famous would be an insult to everything else that’s famous. Selling shirts like t-shirts that have gone out of style, he’s been wearing Six Shapes single-handedly on Studezilla’s clothing.
“It actually has a completely new engine,” he said. “We ran 240 mph to eight[-mile] Twice, and if it does, it will go 300 mph in a quarter if it makes it. This is the goal. I need to do more half-track tests and I’ll be more comfortable with that. If it went on 300 times in my life, I would only do it once to say I did.
“It’s a wild ride. You definitely know you’ve stepped on gas when you step on it. It’s a little scary. I also have a ’70 Chevelle just like it we can run against, but nobody does. People think I want to start a circuit with it, but I don’t.” It’s just a circus act. That’s it.”
Watch Alex Joe
Palmer and Loughlin surprised everyone last year when Loughlin hopped into the Mile High Nationals, ostensibly to fulfill sponsor commitments, but they soon discovered they were capable of much more.
“I caught it right away,” Palmer said. “He was a little bit late but most people started in the car and ran four flats for three or four races and 3.90s, you know, then 3.80s, I mean it took 10-15, go 3.85 and do that in three runs.
“We threw him in the pan. He was running about 3.78 in the first two races and he actually came up to me and said, ‘I’m going to tell you ‘I’m late,’ and I was, ‘Okay, fine. Thank you,’ because he probably still only has 30 runs.
“I think the car can go a lot faster, 3.70 seconds, maybe 3.60 – something, but our goals are a little different when Alex’s driving. We want him to do good runs on the track and look for sponsors, and he’s already won two, so he’s very good. He can do That certainly is.”
Palmer can still do it too, and while he’s moved from car to car and series to series, his heart is still in Top Fuel, where he will race later this year in Bristol, Topeka, St. Louis and Pomona.
He said, “I still love him.” “It’s the top, racing the best of the best.”