What is CAP?

Check out the new CAP website!

VP Racing Fuels


May 27, 2009
Author: Bobby Martin

Every sport has its All-Star event. What an awesome privilege it is to drive the Parkertech Charger in Drag Racing's version!

I've raced at the Chicago national event a bunch of times. I always end up pitting way past the finish line in the grass. The reason is, it's the weekend of the Jegs Allstars, and the Allstar guys get all the good pit spots. Having the best cars from all over the country in the field makes it kind of a suicide mission. But I was always there for the sponsors. While it's always great to have the opportunity to race, I never accomplished much at this event. Last year, my first driving for Frank and Dan Parker, we were there, but not part of the Allstars. We beat Allstar Brian Hough in round one only to lose to Allstar Jay Payne in round two. No easy rounds here! It should be noted, however, that we did get by Jay the following week at the Divisional, which we won. The kind of year we had with our new team is responsible for us being part of the Allstars in 2009.

There's a lot that's cool about this event. But here's something not so obvious. One thing that's very cool is that Ben Wentzel is on our team from D3. Ben is running Stock. Ben won Stock eliminator at Indy in 1967. The cool meter is just pegged here. Don Garlits won Top Fuel with the legendary shave at the starting line, Doug Thorley won a new class called Funny Car, Gene Snow won in a Funny Car but it was classed as a C/Fuel Dragster in an eliminator called Super. Bill Jenkins won Super Stock in a brand new car called a Camaro. Do you get the feel of the magnitude of the names and the significance of the event? I believe Ben is racing the same car (also a Camaro) that he raced in 1967. In '67 it ran B/Stock. I think he runs in C/Stock now. The lack of an 'A' at the end, such as C/SA, means Ben is shifting gears. (A is for "automatic"). You can bet that I'll be cheering for Ben at the Allstars. As teammates we'll be earning points for the same cause. It would be really great to be in the winner's circle with Ben just like Big Daddy and the Snowman were in 1967.

It's going to be a tough weekend. Not only because the best in the country will be there, but just because of the schedule. Two qualifying runs Friday, three Allstars runs Saturday, then the whole national event - Four runs - on Sunday. That's nine passes in one weekend. But anyone who gets to make all those runs is having a pretty decent weekend. I think there will only be seven cars in our class because last year's winner, Doug Gordon, made the show this year, so there's no blocker. Doug is the TA/FC Allstar hero, having beaten Frank Manzo by OUT RUNNING him in last year's final. The only problem with that is that Manzo's gonna be mad. Uncle Frank is running once again for Division 1, the scrappy Mark Billington will be this year's D2 guy. Way to go, Mark! D3 is us. D4 is Steve Harker. We all know how tough he is. D5 is Roger Bateman. Roger has done everything but win a National event. He'll be hungry. D6 will either be Brian Hough again or Clint Thompson. Both are bad hombres who know how to win under pressure. And D7 is the aforementioned defending champ, Doug Gordon. Can you say Allstars? I may be the only rookie in this lineup. (Frank and Dan have been here before with Danny Townsend) This is going to be a bloodbath. Don't just watch the elapsed times. The weather will have a lot to do with that. Watch the reaction times. That'll give you an idea of how serious this group is.

We weren't too stellar at this year's Cavalcade of Stars. It was one of those races where nothing was routine. Even when we warmed up the car, we'd be starting it three or four times because of some little issue. We darn near DNQ'd for the thing. Getting in #7 was good though, because Manzo was #4. He dispatched the #1 qualifier in round two to take his usual place on the eliminations ladder. We took out the #2 guy to adjust for those mediocre qualifying runs. It was another match with Mick Snyder. We're 2 for 2 against Mick this year. I say so what. Those guys are notorious for their strong finishes. Case in point, last year. There will be plenty more tough matches with Mick this year. In the semis we had Terry Munroe, a cross-town neighbor from the IHRA world. Terry has adapted to NHRA and the screw blower real quick. We took him out in Indy, but he got us back at Norwalk. So now the Beaver Valley series is tied at one apiece. Hey, no fair! It took me years to learn how to run a screw blower. Terry is doing it in a couple months. He's got a good team. He's technically a D1 car, although I think it's just because he didn't know the rules. So now he's in D1 with Manzo and Mickey Ferro and those guys. D3 is plenty tough, though, as demonstrated at last year's Chicago points race. D3 cars took the top qualifying spots (and the win, thank you) while the best of the rest were wondering what happened, including a DNQ by Jackson Racing and Von Smith! This year's race is once again the week after the Nationals and the Jegs Allstars, so it should be another slugfest.
We'll see how it goes.

Bobby's News and ViewsThe Car The TeamBobby's Bio
Schedule PhotosSponsorsContact UsLinks