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May 22, 2008
Author: Bobby Martin

The Parkertech Charger was first to the finish line on all its runs at Norwalk. We missed #1 qualifier by 2 thousandths. The Charger, Frank, and I will be at the massive Car Show at Cruise at Lane Automotive Friday and Saturday. We have hot pix and video too!

Before rain forced the postponement of the completion of the "Cavalcade of Stars" event at Norwalk, we made four runs, none slower than 5.68 or 251 mph. But in the final round of qualifying, we made a move from fifth to second in the order with a 5.575 blast at 258.27 mph, both personal bests. Multi-time world champion Frank Manzo attended this event and was #1 qualifier as expected; and to give you some idea of his dominance, he is on a record winning streak of 39 straight rounds. Yet our run just missed knocking him off the top spot by 2 thousandths of a second. It was also just short of Frank and Dan Parker's all-time best of 5.571.

Our first round matchup was against the Chevy Monte Carlo of Jeff Wilson (#7 qualifier in the 8 car field). We had a 5.57 to 5.79 advantage in qualifying times. The conditions were not as ideal as they were the night before for qualifying. With those two factors in mind, the Parkers backed the car down a little to make sure it went down the track. Jeff stepped up considerably and came within .002 seconds at 330 feet, but with 4 hundredths advantage off the starting line and a 5.65 to 5.68 ET advantage, we scored the win.

This event was very special as it was the first major event on the new Summit Motorsports Park surface. I had the privilege of having one-on-one conversations with both Bill Baders, senior and junior, and they told me about this track. To summarize, they used satellites to measure the track surface as they rebuilt it. It is now within 4 millimeters of perfect in straightness and smoothness from the starting line to the finish line. Obviously, this was an aid to our performance. But I want to illustrate what kind of people Baders are. They absolutely know no limits, and are among the most influential people in the sport of drag racing. Bill Junior, a hands-on guy who even likes to take the microphone as "host" of his events, had some nice things to say about our efforts. I also love the comment about the "marquis matchup" with Mick and me. We've got that on film too!

Rain came and stopped the action. We are now in the semi-finals, which will be completed at the Columbus points meet July 25-27. Incidentally, the semi-finalists are the aforementioned Manzo, 3-time Division champion Mick Snyder (who we will race in the semis) Andy Bohl, one of the hottest drivers in the class right now including a win at the last Div 3 points meet in Indy, and. us.

More on the Baders. Bill Junior says he wants to have 50,000 people at this event within 5 years. He plans on having TV coverage next year. He sent out invitations to schools and scout groups and companies totaling 24,000 invitations. (Didn't get nearly that many due to the weather) He even invited ME to attend along with the other alcohol guys to make sure he had a quality program for his headlining class. This guy is phenomenal. The best part is, he believes in making stars out of the alcohol drivers. He wants the Cavalcade of Stars to be the "Super Bowl of Alcohol Racing" among other ambitious goals. The good news is, a man of his caliber and influence believes in the class, and that it is a highly marketable commodity

I'm making another trip to the Detroit area this weekend for the huge car show and cruise at Lane Automotive in Watervliet. Frank and I will display and fire-up the white car. This event is huge. You can see the scope of it at www.laneautomotive.com.

To view the 5.57 run go here

Remember, our car is white.

To view the first round run, go here

To see and hear the "Marqui Matchup" with Mick Snyder run go here

Thank you to Keith Wagner for the awesome video, and to Dave Shaffer for the great photos. These guys, along with Jon and Kristen Wagner form our "Geek squad." They have even more cool stuff that you will see later.

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