The Christmas tree is not a new thing at the dragstrip. As most of you know, this device is used to start the race between two competitors at the strip that uses a series of light bulbs. However, we never imagined a race where you would strap a real or fake pine tree to your car and make a pass. Leave it to Cleetus McFarland to have a holiday race with some wicked fast cars and the idea of racing down the 1/4-mile dragstrip with decorated trees in the mix.
The rules for the first annual Christmas Tree World Championship race was pretty simple. The contestants were allowed to run just about any engine/power adder as long as a Christmas tree strapped to the car. The tree could be positioned in any fashion, and they were. Some vehicles had them mounted vertically, while others went with the more aerodynamic route laying them down on the roof. Another rule to this contest, the trees had to be equipped with working lights, and decorations were optional.
The race kicked off with a 16 car field. The engine combinations were all over the place, with a turbocharged Gen I small-block Chevrolet, turbo Coyotes, 2JZ, turbo LS engines, and even a Chevrolet powered RX7.
The fastest car on the property was Rick Prospero’s RX7. The twin-turbocharged 540 cubic-inch big-block Chevrolet power plant known as the Green Mamba. According to McFarland, the official Christmas Tree Record was 181 mph. Yes, it’s a real thing that Hennessy achieved with a modified TrackHawk. We should note that this record was not performed at the dragstrip but rather the open road. Prospero was looking to take down this record with the RX7 in the 1/4-mile.
As the rounds took place, Prospero’s Green Mamba was the car to beat. On his second pass, the RX7 went a 6.925 at 201.55 mph with a lit Christmas tree on the roof, crushing Hennessy’s record and the turbo LS Camaro in the other lane. Cleetus managed to make it to the semi-finals before a broken belt rendered the charging system on Ruby useless. With only 9.8 volts at the start of the race, McFarland was forced to abort the run, giving the Mustang the win.
In the finals, it was the Green Mamba against a turbo Mustang. As expected, there was nothing on the property that could overtake the big-block powered machine. Prospero’s RX7 took the win with ease and became the first and is the first annual Christmas Tree World Championship winner. Congratulations to Prospero and his team on winning this event and taking home the coveted Christmas Spirit award and $1,000.
We love Christmas and race cars and are already looking forward to this event next year.