CALGARY, Alta. — The Smokin’ Gun is heading east, thanks largely to a new sponsorship deal its owner Gord Cooper has made with Shell Canada.
Cooper, who runs one of North America’s fastest semi dragsters, will be showcasing the Smokin’ Gun at Shell’s Owen Sound distributor on Sept. 8. The next day, the 1968 Kenworth will be at Kenworth Toronto before it hits the track at Grand Bend, Ont. on Sept. 11.
Cooper will be accompanied on the trip by crew chief Kelly Libby. Many western truck enthusiasts have had the luxury of seeing the Smokin’ Gun tear up the tracks in Western Canada and the Northwestern U.S. The trip to Ontario will mark the truck’s first performance east of Alberta, however.
"I’m looking forward to meeting the guys down east," Cooper said of his fellow drag racers from Ontario. "I’m not looking to take away from their thunder at all, just adding a little bit of western thunder in the east!"
Grand Bend Motorplex features a NHRA-approved -mile drag strip which will provide plenty of excitement. Cooper’s Smokin’ Gun has run other mile strips in 13 seconds and change, making it one of the fastest big rigs in North America.
He says he’s thrilled Shell Canada has come on-board as a major sponsor.
"The Smokin’ Gun’s two-cycle Detroit engine must use oil with a low ash level and Shell has come up with a superior formulation of 40-weight low ash oil," says Cooper. "I’ve been in business for 24 years but Shell is the only oil I’ve used in all my vehicles, from quads, cars bikes and antique trucks to race trucks, pickup trucks and commercial trucks. I’ve always been satisfied with the Shell Rotella-T 15/40 oil."
After the Eastern swing, Cooper is off to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah where he will be helping fellow racer George Neilson of Junction City, Ore. attempt a new world record for speed with a vintage Paymaster highway tractor. It’s powered by a 16V92 Detroit Diesel and the truck holds the current speed record for a highway tractor at about 170 mph.
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