HOT ACTION IN CHICAGO, HOT NEW VIDEO FROM NORWALK
Jun 11, 2008
Author: Bobby Martin
Qualifying #5 in one of the hottest fields in the history of Top Alcohol
Funny Car shows the progress the Parkertech/Lane Automotive/CAP team is
Pretty cool stuff. The top 5 in qualifying for the NHRA Route 66 Nationals
was Von Smith, Frank Manzo, Mick Snyder, Jay Payne, then us. Those are some
heavy hitters to be running with, but Frank and Dan Parker have this car
hummin'. #6 was All-Star winner Doug Gordon. Other luminaries, such as Cy
Chesterman, Steve Harker, Andy Bohl, Roger Bateman, and Brian Hough were in
the house. The field was anchored by none other than 14-time All-Star Vern
Moats. Here's the qualifying sheet.
||Centre Point Collision Mustang
||Lucas Oil Monte Carlo
||Powersource Transportation Mustang
||Lane Automotive Charger
||Morro Bay Cabinets Monte Carlo
||OMS Graphics Monte Carlo
||Bohl Automotive Mustang
|| Glacier Clear Water Mustang
||Brian Hough Racing Monte Carlo
||Tiger Flow Racing Camaro
||Duke Printing/Mailing Avenger
|| Foster Racing Monte Carlo
|--------- Not Qualified ---------
|| Kevin Newburgh
|| Dark Horse Mustang
||Butler & Roark Firebird
|| Jeff Burnett
Two other things dominated this weekend, wind and rain. It was
unbelievable. The weather would change to a different climate from one
minute to the next. Anyway, I wasn't thrilled with my draw for round 1. I
had Division 6 Champion and All-Star representative Brian Hough. He's done
lots of damage at National events on the West Coast, and is known as young
star and a leaver. I spent lots of time Saturday night thinking about
Brian. He had cut some lights in qualifying and I had to be ready. Frank
and Dan did their thing and the car sailed right through there. It felt
fast. Frank & Dan are making the car a joy to drive. One of the many
things a driver must do is shut the car off on time. It can't be too early
cuz you'll hurt the et and speed, and it can't be too late cuz you can hurt
the motor. But one nice way to know when to shut off is when the win light
comes on! It was a good drag race. A first round match this tough is
indicative of the quality of cars in this class. Here's the report from
drag race central.
(W) Bobby Martin (Lane Automotive Charger) 0.026 5.635 253.75
(L) Brian Hough (Brian Hough Racing Monte Carlo) 0.028 5.704 250.92
A couple great lights and then Martin drives away with his best pass of the
weekend for the win.
The 5.63 gave us lane choice against Jay Payne in round two. He ran a 5.66.
After two straight low '60's, we ran a 5.71 to Jay's 5.65. The bad news is
the car slowed down because of a clutch issue. The good news is we know
why. So we can just take what we learned there and move on. Frank and Dan
are refining the combination and I'm refining my interaction with the car.
As we do all this, we feel like we can make progress.
A note on reaction times. Frank and Dan have a car that leaves well, and
that helps reaction times. But here's something interesting. I've said it
before here. There are three people on the starting line, two drivers and
the starter. I've also said that what each one does up there affects the
other two. Check this out. It was very apparent at Joliet. In the last
round of qualifying Cy Chesterman had a .104, I had a .090. In round 1, I
had a .026 and Brian Hough had a .028. In round two Jay had a .042, I had a
.049. I've noticed that in most races, the reaction times are close to each
other, whether they are fast or slow. This seems especially true for me.
Now sometimes, somebody messes up and just leaves too early or too late, but
by and large this little phenomenon seems to hold true, and it's there in
all heads up start categories.
I have some theories as to why this is, but I'm still working on it.
Actually, I haven't really heard anyone else talking about it. Any ideas?
A very cool video of the best run of my career has recently been added to
You Tube by an unknown fan. Check it out at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrR8cROPjJ0 Thanks to the photographer who
got some great footage.
I have a stop at Sinclair Community College on Thursday, June 12. I'll be
speaking at the Graduation Banquet for the Class of 2008 in the Chrysler
College Automotive Program, better known as CAP. Sinclair is consistently
one of the top CAP schools nationwide, and the people there, including Mike
Taylor and Steve Ash, really care about their students, and it shows.
From there it's back to Joliet for some more ground poundin' at the
Divisional level. Jay Payne, Von Smith, Vern Moats, and many more dangerous
drivers are staying over from the Nationals to run this race. Frank thinks
there could be 20 cars there to compete in the 8 car show. It'll be brutal,
but we're ready. Check in later and I'll have all the juicy details.