To drag racers, Byron Dragway in Byron, Illinois, is known as the playground of power. This Midwest dragstrip hosts plenty of action throughout drag racing season. But to many of the rest of us, Byron is known as the location for one of the greatest wheelstanding competitions.
This is where drivers put it all on the line – and sometimes on the roof – for the coveted title of best wheelstand. We’ve seen some great wheelstands over the past few years, but one wheelstander in particular has caught just about everyone’s attention.
Brian Ambrosini is one of those guys who puts his car on the back bumper for our entertainment, and despite the crashes he’s endured, he’s back every year to do it all over again. If you don’t recognize the name, then it’s likely that you recognize the car.
Brian takes his orange, 1,300 horsepower 1974 AMC “Flying Gremlin” to Byron where he’s well known for more than just the car. He’s won the wheelie contest at least six times over the years, and we can easily see why. It’s one thing to build a vehicle strictly for wheelstanding, like Hemi Under Glass, but this is not your typical wheelstander.
When he’s not putting the Gremlin on the back bumper, he’s drag racing the car (with a set of wheelie bars, of course), but when it comes time to put the wheels in the air, the bars come off and the front end heads due North – often times the rear wheels leave the pavement as well.
This video above, however, treats us to a ride along with a couple of different vantage points as Brian takes the car down the strip, putting the wheels in the air for about 600 feet. How long is 600 feet, you ask? How about two football fields? Yeah, that’s why he’s the champ at this game.