Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car - The Lane Automotive/CAP Team Sweeps the Field at Norwalk
Jul 2, 2008
Author: Charlie Henry
A second consecutive win and two firsts make the race special for Bobby
Milford, Michigan - It's late in the evening, June 29th, 2008. Summit
Motorsports Park, in Norwalk, Ohio, is just about deserted. The NHRA Summit
Racing Equipment Nationals race is over. A few teams are still waiting
their turn in the NHRA Winner's Circle or packing up to leave. Not Bobby
Martin. He's in the Winner's Circle, with the Frank and Dan Parker-prepared
Lane Automotive/CAP Dodge Charger R/T. It's the second consecutive win for
the team in two weeks.
This visit to the Winner's Circle is special to Martin, for it represents a
milestone, not just a win. After racing Top Alcohol Funny Cars for eighteen
years, Martin has his first NHRA national event number one qualifying
position and race win. For Frank and Dan Parker, owners and crew chiefs of
the Mopar Hemi-powered car, Martin's achievement was expected. "We've known
and watched Bobby for years," said Dan Parker, the team patriarch. "He's
become skilled and track-wise from running his own car, but doing everything
himself was a distraction. We just knew that, if we could hook up and take
some load off his shoulders, he would really shine on the track."
The alcohol cars managed one qualifying run Friday, before all sessions were
cancelled due to water seeping onto the track. In that session, a minor
engine gremlin stuck the Dodge Charger R/T on the bubble, in sixteenth. To
make up time, NHRA allowed only one chance to qualify on Saturday morning.
Martin turned that round into a drag racer's dream, by jumping from
sixteenth to number one. With the Parkers massaging the engine, and Martin
massaging the throttle, the Lane Automotive/CAP Dodge Charger R/T secured
the pole with a 5.645 second elapsed time at 255.63 miles per hour.
In Saturday's first elimination round, Martin's reaction time was almost
two-tenths of a second better than his opponent's. The run produced an
elapsed time of 5.679 at 256.11 mph. The second round, on Sunday morning,
was a "bye," when the opposition couldn't make it to the starting line.
Rather than taking it easy, Martin planted his right foot and ripped off a
solo 5.626 and 258.02 pass - the quickest of the event, at the time. The
third round gave the team a start when their good friend, Andy Bohl, beat
the Lane Automotive/CAP driver off the line. But Bohl's traction then went
up in smoke and Martin cruised to a foot-down 5.630, 257.73 win.
In the final round, Martin was up against Steve Harker's Monte Carlo.
Harker had topped Martin's quickest event pass, in an earlier round, and was
now looking for Martin himself. But Martin reacted five one-thousandths of
second faster than Harker and beat the Monte Carlo to the win light. The
5.624/256.84 last run of the weekend was a near-mirror image of Martin's
short-lived quickest pass of the event. Harker trailed at 5.629 and 256.60
mph. The margin of victory ran out to the fourth decimal point, .0102,
which translates to a lead of approximately four feet.
In the Winner's Circle, daylight could be seen between Bobby Martin's feet
and the ground. "This win is something I've looked forward to for many
years. Describing my emotions, right now, is pretty darned hard," he said.
"My family has supported me all along and I'm so happy they're here to share
this experience. Frank and Dan's family is here, too, and they are just as
excited. We got to the Winner's Circle together and we're all celebrating
This win moves Martin up to sixteenth in NHRA's National Top Alcohol Funny
Car standings. He is holding NHRA's Division 3 number two spot. ESPN2 will
broadcast NHRA Summit Racing Nationals Sportsman highlights on July 5 at
11:00 am. The next race for the Lane Automotive/CAP Top Alcohol Funny Car
team is Division 3's Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Columbus, July 25
- 27. The National Trail Raceway event will also be the make-up site for
the rained out May 16 - 18 LODRS event. Needless to say, the Lane
Automotive/CAP team is looking forward to twin wins.
Lane Automotive is known the world over as a premier supplier of the latest
and best performance parts and accessories. Along with its divisions -
Motor State Distributing, Allstar Performance, Lane Collectables, Exact
Detail and Lane Showroom - Lane Automotive operates from a stunning new
complex in Watervliet, Michigan. The computerized and automated facility is
specially designed to serve the needs of racers, hot rodders, truck and
off-road enthusiasts and sport compact enthusiasts. Visit them at
The Chrysler College Automotive Program (CAP) provides technical learning
and launches students into rewarding Automotive Technician careers for a
nationwide network of almost 4000 Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep Dealers. For
more information on the College Automotive Program, and Bobby Martin, visit here.
ParkerTech Racing is supported by Lane Automotive, All-Star Performance,
Mopar, Aeroquip Hoses, Red Line Oil, NGK Spark Plugs, Crane Cams, Total Flow
Heads, Trick Titanium, Mr. Gasket, Valco Cincinnati, Mancini Racing and
Casebolt Financial. The team is also partners with Chrysler's College
Automotive Program (CAP), Permatex and VP Racing Fuels. Marketing and media
tasks are performed by Challenger Consulting.