LIFEíS A DRAG

> DRAG WEEK LEGEND JEFF LUTZ TAKES A WORKING HOLIDAY DOWN UNDER

STORY ANDREW BROADLEY PHOTOS JUST DAVE

JEFF Lutz is one of planet Earthís most revered street car drag racers. Having been the perennial bridesmaid at Hot Rod Drag Week, he scored his breakthrough win in 2014 aboard the Evil Twin, a lightweight, heavy-hitting, compositebodied replica of his infamous all-steel, matte black í57 Chev.

In a bid to stay abreast of the competition, Lutz fronted up at Drag Week 2015 in a fullscale Pro Mod Camaro with number plates, and while it didnít finish the event, it managed a 6.05@251mph, which is the quickest and fastest pass at Drag Week.

These days Lutz is just as well known for his involvement with the hit TV show Street Outlaws, and when he and the Evil Twin landed Down Under for special guest appearances at various Powercruise events, we couldnít pass up the opportunity for a chat.

Tell us about the car youíve brought to Oz.

I brought the Evil Twin over; to date the best itís been is 6.60@225mph in the quarter. It goes high 4.20s in the eighth. Itís a 632ci with twin Precision turbos, and a Rossler 400 with a Gear Vendors. It makes right around 3500hp.

Have you enjoyed meeting some of your Aussie fans?

Itís amazing. Everyoneís been laidback, they treat us like gold, theyíre quick to help out and itís been a lot of fun. Way different than I thought.

Talk us through the evolution from the steel car to the Evil Twin.

The steel car is 3800lb, and thatís what Iím well known for. We made a big splash with that car, and we made Larry Larson famous because we chased him down. Then I thought: ďMan, itíd be nice to build a lighter car.Ē [So we debuted the Evil Twin] in 2013 at the PRI show, and that sparked Larry to build his truck and everybody started going nuts. We beat Tom [Bailey], Larry and everybody at Drag Week with it.

How was it to get that breakthrough Drag Week win in 2014?

It was a quest that we started in 2009. From the time we started doing it I chased Larry and I made him run for it. We won [Drag Week 2014]

and my son Jeffrey went 200mph in the old car; I was crying!

What do you think is the secret to surviving Drag Week?

Youíve got to keep the car cool, and keep the batteries charged. If youíve got a good engine builder, youíre golden. People ask me all the time how hard is it, and itís the worst thing you can do in a car; itís brutal. But itís fun!

Are you running the Pro Mod Camaro at Drag Week again this year?

Yes. We failed this past Drag Week with the Camaro. I had a charging issue and I was melting shit left and right. This year at Drag Week I want to be the first in the fives, and I want to do it at every track.

Tell us about your involvement in the Street Outlaws show.

I had very little involvement at first; then it kind of went crazy. A lot of the fans donít understand; they think itís TV-generated, but these guys are true street racers; thatís what they do. It isnít Hollywood-made. That shit Ė the Top 10 list, cash days Ė everything is real.

Any chance weíll ever see your name on the list?

We start filming this season at the end of March and weíre going to run my Camaro for the list. It ought to be interesting! There are a lot of fast cars coming for the list, and everybody has upgraded.

From the end of Season Seven to now you wonít even recognise it; itís crazy! s