Columnized thoughts and observations from inside Canada’s very elite Mundie’s Towing NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster team….

It is peculiar how the more things change, the more they stay the same. That can be said about a lot of recent happenings in our ever non-changing evolution. Long gone clothing styles are making a comeback, we send prehistoric cave drawings back and forth on our phones instead of talking, and doo wop is making a return.

Grant Husdon has joined the Mundies Towing Racing team for their 2020 season racing aspirations.

The one change that does make this writer happy is my return, full circle to the place that is the best, inside the bell housing of a blown alky beast, where the clutch is housed and/or contained. It’s a magical titanium kingdom of love and hate where races can be won or lost. A confine of spinning dusty mayhem surgically tuned to transfer the anger of some 4000 horses to the track. Extreme high horsepower racing clutches are an unruly bunch. Unforgiving and vicious to their handlers. Therein, lies the magic. The magic that is trying to tame that beast and make it bow to the quarter mile. We do our best trying to make sure, checking and double checking measurements, that the ensemble of rotating plates and springs with adjustable weights is set up perfectly and will hold the tuner’s adjustments till the finish line, not melt, or not lock up and send the tires into a severe shake, rattling the pilot. A little skill, communication between the driver, tuner and the guy who twists the wrench and whole lotta luck is the recipe for getting it right and winning. A half a thousandth of an inch out or a milligram of weight wrong and disaster could end your weekend early. A race team needs all those factors to mesh to stand half a chance of seeing their car on a tear and being successful. When it doesn’t, fingers will point usually at the clutch. Anyone can buy horsepower but getting it to the ground is another animal. Finding that magic combination can be tedious to say the least.

Having spent much of my early racing career with Glen May and the Cranberry Connection Pro Mod Team gave me a taste for learning about these complicated pieces of engineering. Soon, I was thrown into the clutch-man position and loving it. I knew it was a very big part of winning. Our early successes infected me with the disease of going fast. Starting out as video guy at Ashcroft to eventually crew chief and clutch guy in IHRA Pro Mod was the best training I could ask for. I was lucky to have some very experienced teachers from many corners of the racing world.

Earlier in his career – Grant Hudson (right) played an intricate role within Glen May’s very popular Cranberry Connection Pro Mod team from BC.

Now, I’m lucky enough to be back doing what I love, but more seriously now, and concerned more about winning. I will be busting and burning my knuckles to make sure my new team has continued success. Shawn Cowie and the Mundie’s Towing Top Alcohol Dragster Team out of Burnaby, B.C.

I got invited to join this team coming in with a bit of knowledge from my Pro Mod days, but this is NHRA now, not a beer league for weekend warriors or part timers. The learning curve is a much steeper one and there is little room for error. In fact, none. The Mundies team has already made their mark divisionally as well as nationally and Shawn Cowie, a recently inducted hall of famer, shows no signs of letting up on his championship pursuit this year.

Mundie’s Towing Racing driver Shawn Cowie bolts from the starting line at Pomona’s season opening Lucas Oil Winternationals last month — an event which he went on to win.

The season started with a pretty intense test session for me and the car in Las Vegas just prior to the season opener at Pomona in early February. Things went extremely well at the Winter Nationals for this new, nervous clutch-guy { a lot of studying } and the Mundie’s team as Shawn qualified number one and never looked back all weekend, winning all elimination rounds to claim the Wally! A great start to the new race season indeed. The Mundie’s Towing team plans on bringing home the gold this year and if Pomona is any sign of things to come, 2020 should be a stellar season.

There will be lots of travel and lots of lonely nights on the road alone, contemplating what’s in store, but I always knew I’d be back to the” Blacktop of Broken Dreams”, covered in clutch dust and sweating synthetic beads of 30 weight one day. Maybe, just maybe, I could get back in the winner’s circle again.

If I learned one thing since walking away from my ” Family” at the race-track twenty years ago, and now have one race under my belt, nothing really, has changed. Oh, the rules of engagement on the track certainly have, for the better obviously, but that’s not what I mean. Coming home to my hot, dusty corner of the pits reminds me it that it wasn’t really that long ago I was here, doing what I love most, getting down and dirty in the action at the track. The added bonus…….. being able to see my old friends and re-live some great times again. That makes me already a winner.

Posted by Grant Husdon
Photos by Bruce Biegler