Turbo Power Makes Records

American Eagle

Kevin Draper is building a 600-horsepower, open-wheel, blown-fuel Lakester, with which he wants to set a new land speed record for its class. For the layperson, a blow-fuel Lakester is a turbo-charged rocket on wheels.

With the help of Benny's Hog Shed owner Benny Bridger and with parts donated by land speed record-holder Don Vesco, Kevin has been working on this car for about four years. Kevin and Benny are confident the car can break the current record of 198 mph for its class. Kevin plans to prove that the car do 150 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah after making a test run or two.

Kevin retired from the Navy in 1970 after serving three years as a second-class bosun's mate on a ship in Vietnam. His job was to mix and transport Agent Orange for military planes to spray in Vietnam. It was that contact with the toxic herbicide and defoliant, that caused his cancer. Kevin had to have an operation about two years ago

because of esophageal cancer. It was either do the surgery or die. He retired a few months ago as owner of Majestic Turbocharger in Waco, Texas.

Kevin spends much of his time talking to children in the Waco schools, encouraging them to continue their educations and to find good jobs. He clearly believes in himself and this crew in their ability to break the speed record and he is not going to let cancer get him down.

He can't wait to slide into the cockpit of his speed car on the salt flats and speed into history. Kevin says, "When you're down at the end of the track, what makes it all worthwhile is setting in the cockpit, listening to the engine crackling and knowing that, for a second there, you've done something that nobody else has ever done and nobody imagined you could do."

Story and video about Kevin on the MyFox Austin website.

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