Dan Richins and Rex Pearmain, known as the “Iron Horse Team”, were not household names in the world of drag racing. The fact is Salt Lake City Utah is a bit off the beaten path when it comes to significant drag racing teams. However, during the mid-1970s the “Iron Horse Team” were significant forces with which to be reckoned. This was particularly true at the high elevation drag strips found in the NHRA’s Division Five (West Central Division), Division Six (Northwest Division), and Division Seven (Pacific Division) events.
Between 1971 in 1976, Richins and Pearmain aggravated a number of top fuel racers who raced at divisional events. Pearmain had the knowledge of how to tune and engine to deliverable reliable repeatable performance in the thin air (low oxygen) of high altitudes. The Iron Horse Team was a low-budget operation and chose to race cautiously while at the same time being competitive. The team had several low qualifiers and track elapsed time records in their career.
When the Iron Horse Team went to low altitude tracks, a Pearmain tune-up to compensate for the oxygen-rich conditions coupled with Richins driving skills delivered significant results. The team’s career defining moment was the stunning 5.930 seconds elapsed time recorded at the NHRA’s Supernationals in Ontario California in 1973. This secured them the number eight spot in the prestigious Cragar Five Second Club. They were the first member of this club with a Donovan Hemi powered car. Richins and Pearmain’s knowledge also allowed them to achieve low qualifier positions at the AHRA Northern Nationals in Fremont California.