OFFICIAL PAGE OF "SPIRIT OF AMERICA" #253 Top Fuel Jet Drag Boat Racing



August 30, 2017. After sitting out most of 2017 the Spirit of America has been updated and is just about ready to race. We are hoping to make some test passes and get Keith Funk licensed in the TFJ class at the World Finals at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, AZ..  This would not have been possible without help by Charles Calva who spent almost every weekend this spring and summer helping repair the engines and update the boat after the 2016 season.Spirit Photo at shop Rich and Keith 2017

Keith Funk and Richard Young finishing up “Spirit” for Lucas Oil World Finals Phoenix Race 2017

IMG_2138 Croped

The new crew for 2017.  Left to right  Richard Young, John Cost, Keith Funk, Charles Calva 

Nov. 2016.    Wheatland Mo.  Spirit ran a incredible 5.38 E.T.  in qualifying and legged the record. The MPH was only 151.99 at 900 feet because the  safety valve was open at 800 feet!  This was the quickest pass in history in the Lucas National Series for a TFJ!

 At the next two races the boat ran two more World Record legs in Parker and Phoenix, Az. but we failed to back them up because we did not get to go on to another round because of losses against the TAF”s.  

July 18, 2016   Augusta Nationals- Spirit of America wins TAF/TJF class. First round we got a win over Bill Miller with a 5.50 E.T. and a .027 reaction time. Second round was a bye run. Final round we out ran Shazam TAF on a hole shot. The new hull performed well.

During both rounds the pop off safety valve opened before 900 feet from excessive jet inlet pressure causing the boat to slow down! This problem can be easily corrected with a small hardware adjustment!    The boat will be much faster!   Special thanks to Place Diverter, Henry’s inducers, American Turbine, Pat Weimer, Finney Powder Coat, and all of those that helped make racing this boat possible!

Spike did a great job driving and tuning! Our next race will be in Nov. 2017 at Wild Horse Pass  in Phoenix, AZ. See you there! 

Shown below is Spike Gorr excepting our trophy at the Lucas awards presentations.

Spike gets his trophy Augusta

Spirit Of America Photo San Angelo2016

Spike Gorr driving against Bill Millers TAF in San Angelo, Tx. 5.76 E.T. at 144.7 MPH


June 30,2016  “Spirit Of America” continued testing in San Angelo,TX. Unfortunately, in the first round the holding rope got caught inside the capsule lid when leaving the hold rope. Otherwise, testing went fairly well and the new team is encouraged. The boat handled very well and we plan on racing in Augusta, GA. July 15. We look forward to seeing you there!

June 9,2016 The Spirit and the team arrived in Wheatland Mo. today. Qualifying is Friday and Saturday. The second race at Parker Az. got winded out with very rough water. Updates to follow:

 Saturday we qualified with a very encouraging 5.66 E.T. at 144 MPH. This was only the second full pass on the new Terminator hull since Spike got his license.  We had a very safe fat tuneup and very conservative hardware adjustments. First round Sunday the boat jumped out of neutral into forward, causing a foul start. We believe a minor adjustment will correct this problem. The crew is heading to the SDBA for further testing before heading to  the next Lucas National  Series Drag Boat Race in San Angelo,Tx. this following week. We expect the boat will be far quicker in San Angelo as we add more power. We look forward to seeing you at the track. We expect there will be two TFJ boats racing with the TAF class.

April 2,2016  The new  TFJ Terminator “Spirit Of America” made it’s first full test pass down the liquid quarter mile (Now 1000 Ft.) This first race was in Chandler Wild Horse Pass. Unfortunately we did not get Spikes license until Sunday therefore they did not allow us to race.

Spike Gorr piloted and passed his drivers test. The new hull performed well and ran a 5.91 sec. pass at 141.75 MPH with a soft tuneup and only 5% nitro. Spikes reaction time was .017 which was unbelievable!  Spike did a excellent job driving for the first time in a capsule boat!  

Our new computer controlled prototype pop off safety intake valve performed great with its new seal design and larger exhaust opening adding additional safety. The engine broke a blower belt and popped a burst panel on shut down with the pop-off open, the whirlaway ratchet dropped the intake pressure causing the boat to set down at 140 MPH without any overcharge whatsoever. Our Go Pro video did not show the slightest hull bobble when the engine quit at 1300 feet.

Special thanks to Nick Rose of Nick Rose Insurance for your Support.

We will be heading to Parker for our first race in competition with the flats in the Lucas National Drag Boat Series in two weeks. We hope to see our fans there.

SpiritWHP Mar 2016

Feb. 16, 2016 The new Spirit of America is ready to rumble. The driver will be Spike Gorr of Gorr Fuel Systems in Lake Havasu AZ.  Spike previously drove his own Top Fuel Dragster with NHRA.

We took both new Terminator Hulls to the first ADBA -Lucas divisional race in Parker AZ.   Kaylyn Funk drove our lake hull in River Racer and did a great job learning to drive new boat! The Top Fuel Jet capsuled boat did not get to make a test pass because the race got stopped for high winds. We actually had just got it finished Saturday night. Spike did take his capsule dunk test in the Casino pool. We also raced Spikes new hull with a blown small block Chevy and ran a respectable 5.97 E. T. which was good practice for driving the fuel jet.

The team will be heading to Bakersfield to the NJBA race for testing and licensing on April 15 at their first race of the season. If things go well, we will be heading to the first National Lucas race the following week.

Additionally,we have got a new sponsorship from Funk Fabrications in Phoenix and Keith and Kaylyn will also be crewing with us this year. Also, Charles Calva will be joining our new crew.

Please visit and join our topfueljet FACEBOOK Group for added information.

Spirit Photo 1 30 2016

New Spirit Of America ready to test in Parker ADBA race.



Dec. 17,2015  We now have completed design changes to our new pop-off safety valve with modifications to release 20% more pressure and to replace the leaky o-ring seal.  O-rings do not effectively seal pop-off pistons because the jet pump intake pressure goes from vacuum to pressure on the starting line causing the o-ring to unload as it travels from one side of the groove to the other. This momentary unloading  of the o-ring  creates intake leakage increasing cavitation on the starting line and becomes a greater problem in boats with horsepower above 2000 . This problem is further compounded when a Teflon o-ring is used because it is far to rigid to seal at low pressure static conditions.

We had to sit out the 2015 season until we could correct these problems and pump breakage issues. We just finished building a new almost bullet proof jet drive with help from American Turbine and are still awaiting the new HIP pressure treated bowl which also has machining changes to improve strength. It is expected to arrive in the next two weeks!  The team felt we should not race until these problems were corrected because of safety concerns. We are now proceeding to finish the boat for the 2016 season.

This fall we also tested the new Terminator Fuel Jet hull design in lower horsepower applications and it performed beyond expectations. Our testing resulted in a 9.34 E.T. with a stock small block Chevy engine in our two seat, lake hull, that is not even fully dialed in yet!

We are now looking for  additional sponsors for this up coming season.Please contact us a our Facebook Group called topfueljet.

June 23, 2015 We just popped our first 2016 Terminator LS Performance jet boat out of the new mold. Hulls will be available for as little as $8500  The LS version is expected to run 90+ MPH with our new 376 inch, all aluminium, small block Chevy power-plant.

2015 Terminator deck just out of mold!

2015 Terminator deck just out of mold! This hull will be used for our 2016 Spirit Of America Top Fuel Jet

Picked up completed hull. Shown Mike O Neal, John Cost and hull builder Pat Weimer

Picked up completed hull. Shown Mike O Neal, John Cost and hull builder Pat Weimer

Capsule added

Capsule added


Capsule in final position 5/16/15

Capsule in final position 5/16/15

Mike O,Neal adding new billet jet drive 5/17/15

Mike O,Neal adding new billet jet drive 5/17/15



This is our first 2016 Terminator LS performance lake boat. For more info go to the upper right of this web page and click on the page: 2016 TERMINATOR JET BOATS  TECHNICAL DATA.                                                            



May 17,2015 We picked up the new Terminator race hull last week. As of today we have the capsule installed, the intake installed with our new billet suction housing. Additionally we have added the tunnel air plates and axle shaft.

The new all composite hull  weighed in at 485 lbs. This week we will be installing the motor mounts and centering it for the Lenco drive line and adding the fuel cell. Photos of the new hull are shown above.

April 3, 2015   The new Spirit race deck was popped out of the mold! The engine is complete and ready to rumble. All we need is the bottom half!

Mar.10,2015   Today we finished installing our new Manton shaft rocker arms and last week we began laying up the new deck and bottom for our new 2015 Terminator race hull.

Our newly designed billet Jet drive which may be completed by July.  The new stronger drive will hopefully reduce drive breakage and make the boat safer than in the past. We have decided to design a new Pop-off valve specifically for the new billet drive.  We will not attend any races until the new valve is completed because safety is our No.1 concern.

Additionally, we would like to thank our sponsors for their past assistance and for their continued support in 2015.

Jan. 31,2015  Today, the plug was waxed and straightened a small amount. Pat will start laying up the mold  this Monday or Tuesday. Bryan and his brother will be helping weld the mold framework this week.

Mike and I finished the bottom end on the new motor and we are awaiting to arrival of the updated blower. Things are going as planned at this time. We are awaiting drawings of our new billet jet drive for our approval. If the design looks satisfactory it is expected to be completed in about a month. 

Jan. 22, 2015 Lucas Oil has updated our previous World E.T. record to 5.552 E.T. The record  was accidentally over looked at the last San Diego race when we set the MPH record with Brad Parrack driving.   Doug Durnall, our previous driver, had the existing  record at 5.78.  Brad Parrack now has both ends of the National Lucas Oil Top Fuel Jet records for MPH and E.T. driving the old Spirit of America which were set in San Diego..

Jan.21,2015  We just completed our new plug mold for making the permanent  mold for our 2015 Spirit Of America. The old hull design has been updated with many changes to reduce drag and add down force. We will begin construction of the new mold this weekend. The boat should be completed in early to mid 2015 and will be 100% composite construction. The new hull design we be marketed as the “Terminator Tunnel”

Nov. 6, 2014 We have located a used hull and will modify it with the latest bottom design and make a 4th generation version of the Rogers Dragstar.. We will then build a new mold from the latest design.

We will continue to use this basic hull design because of it,s  proven safety record and superior handling characteristics. No Dragstars have ever crashed, hooked or barrel rolled unless caused by mechanical failure. We expect the new hull will be built in Phoenix and will be ready by this next season.

Nov. 1.2014  Lucas Oil National Drag Boat Series- World Finals, Chandler AZ.   While qualifying we had a drive casting break, causing a spectacular crash.  Our new Pilot Bryan Letterly was uninjured and can’t wait to get a new hull built! 

Oct.12,2014  Lucas Oil National Drag Boat Series- Lake Havasu, AZ.  Our new Pilot, Bryan Letterly, got his license in the new Spirit Of America Top Fuel Jet!  

Bryan did a great job and managed to cut a reaction time of .015 seconds at 140.581 MPH on straight methanol fuel without any nitro.  This was the first full track pass on the new hull design.  The boat had  very conservative hardware and the pop off valve was released at 700 feet because this was the first test pass on the new hull design!

Interestingly our on-board computer showed no intake pressure drop whatsoever at 700 feet when the safety valve was opened. The boat still accelerated with the valve wide open and picked up 1o mph from the 900 ft. clock to the finish line at 1000 Ft. This made us realize that the pop-off safety valve exhaust opening was to small for the larger impellers and R.P.M. used currently in Top Fuel Jet.   We realized we needed to modify the valve in order to help set the hull down before beginning deceleration. This project is underway as we speak. We will not race again until this problem is corrected!

The new crew members were Rob Wiley, Mike O Neil, Josh Letterly,  Paul Boop,  Petunia Petalbottom and team owner John Cost.





  2. […] TOP FUEL JET “SPIRIT OF AMERICA” RACE TEAM NEWS.. Click to the left on the colored text to open. […]




  6. Great news. Will watch to see progress on the new boat your building for next season. Best wishes have a great Holliday to everyone.

  7. Merry Christmas hope every thing goes ell for you and your team the bet of luck

  8. Go get em John!

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