Powerbuilt Goes to the Races

Neither rain nor heat nor last-minute engine swaps slowed Alex Laughlin’s NHRA Pro Stock Team as they prepared for the debut race for the Powerbuilt car at the 2020 Winternationals.

Pro and amateur racers have tested their mettle at Pomona since 1961.

Since 1961, the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona has hosted the Winternationals. That’s quite a legacy, and quite an honor to have the Powerbuilt Pro Stock car on the line at the 59th running of this world-renowned drag racing event.

Powerbuilt staffers enjoying the sunshine (while it lasted).

And bonus…the track is only 32 miles from Powerbuilt headquarters. By Southern California driving standards, that’s a short jaunt indeed. Of course we can’t drive as fast as Alex Laughlin, so it still took a while for our staffers to arrive at the track for the weekend racing action. The drive was worth it, though, thanks to all the noise and action that makes NHRA so popular with fans.

The pits are rarely this peaceful—the calm before the storm!

Friday and Saturday were qualifying days at the track.  Lots of things happen behind the scenes to prepare for a pass down the track to qualify for the race. Sometimes if the car isn’t running quickly enough, the team technicians will switch out motors completely.

Qualifying runs help sort out the car in the search for perfection.

Just another day in the office, swapping out motors between runs.

Sounds crazy, but these pros are used to operating in high-pressure situations.  The crew put their Powerbuilt tools to good use doing an engine swap Saturday to try and shave a few more thousandths of seconds from the qualifying runs. Their efforts paid off as Alex qualified for Sunday’s finals.

When you need tools fast, the Powerbuilt Rapid Box delivers.

Sunday morning dawned with rain in the forecast. Even in winter, rain is pretty rare in SoCal. It was dry in the early hours but by mid-morning steady showers were falling on the track and continued off and on throughout the day.

Alex Laughlin getting locked and loaded for finals.

Sunday started earlier than scheduled to avoid the predicted rain. Alex lined up next to Jason Line from the Summit Racing team. At 209 MPH, things happen in a hurry, and the margin of victory is measured in hundreds and thousandths of seconds. Alex saw victory slip away by a margin of 0.008 seconds at approximately 15 inches.

It all comes down to this….

Hard to imagine all the building, testing, rebuilding and tweaking boils down to 8 thousandths of a second and 15 inches, but that’s racing!  There’s always the next race, and the next stop for the Powerbuilt car is Phoenix February 21-23.

Next stop…Phoenix!

We’re proud to be associated with Alex and his team of professionals, and love seeing our quality tools put to use in such high-stakes events. As we like to say, Powerbuilt for Life (in the Fast Lane).

PS: Missing your 10mm socket? Find Alex at Phoenix and ask for one of these handy 4 piece Powerbuilt socket sets!