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Jul 23, 2008
Author: Bobby Martin

Coming off two consecutive wins, our Parkertech/Lane/CAP team looks forward to running two races in one weekend in Columbus.

Frank Parker is calling it a "tuner's race," and that's a good thing as he and his dad, Dan, have been tuning the Parkertech/Lane Automotive/CAP Dodge consistently fast. Here's what's happening. In May, it rained at Norwalk before the semi-finals. NHRA decided to run the final two rounds during qualifying for the Columbus Division 3 race. We're still in. The semi finalists are, Andy Bohl, Frank Manzo, Mick Snyder, and us. It's Andy vs. Frank, and us against Mick (for about the 5th or 6th time this season). Mick has lane choice, which may not have been so important at Norwalk, but it could make a difference here. I think Manzo has lane choice over Andy.

Here's another twist to the plot. Manzo needs two divisional wins to complete a perfect season and nail down the championship. He could accomplish that in one weekend in Columbus. Even if he doesn't, he still has two more races in his home Division 1 still left to run. So it's a real possibility for him to have a perfect season (5 national wins, 5 divisional wins, 850 points). The first step for Uncle Frank is Andy Bohl in the semis. That is by no means an easy draw. Andy could have something to say about this. Now, even if he can get by Andy, he would face the winner between Mick and us. The Snyders have said that they built their new Mustang with the express purpose of going after Manzo. I don't think they've even raced side-by-side once this year. They're gonna have to get by the Parkertech car to even get a shot at Manzo, so there's added incentive for them right there. As you can see, both semi final matchups are going to be tough. If at all possible, you should be there.

Sunday, it's a whole new ballgame. The interesting thing is, the semi-final and finals mentioned above count as qualifying runs for eliminations on Sunday. It'll be a unique challenge for the crew chiefs to figure out their strategies under these rare circumstances. Same for the drivers. Where you might have gone in deep to gain reaction time, you'll want to back off to gain ET. And even for the loser, his ET counts for qualifying, so you might see some pedalfests out there. From what I've seen the forecast looks great, so it should make for a fun weekend for racers and spectators.

The qualifying-slash-elimination runs are at 1 and 5 pm Saturday. On Suuundaaaaaaaaaaaay, first round of alky action is at 1. BE THERE! (Seriously, stop by, say hi, have something to eat, and see some great racing. Deal?)

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