Hello again everyone. I hope all is well in your world. We’re doing well also. If the worst thing in life is that you don’t win an NHRA race, then life is pretty good, right? That’s the great thing about NHRA racing. It keeps you humble and honest in a matter of hours and from one week to the next. There are no mulligans or pit stops and you need to be on top of your game all the time.
We just returned home from our last visit to the Lone star State this year with the AAA Nationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, just south of Dallas. We got into town on Thursday and I spent the afternoon with my mom exploring downtown Dallas while Don had to work. Don joined up with Matt Hagan, Jack Beckman and Erica Enders and flew to Houston for a city council hearing to help Seth Angel and Royal Purple Raceway.
Maybe you’ve seen the recent story on CompetitionPlus.com about the concrete crushing facility that was recently built next to the track in Baytown and the dust and dirt from the crushed concrete is wreaking havoc on the track and making it difficult to keep the track clean and run an event. We hope things work out well and continue to return to Baytown for many years. It’s great to see our drivers rally around one of our tenured tracks on tour and the NHRA Nationals are very important to the economy in Baytown and the surrounding areas.
Mother Nature wreaked havoc on much of the country on Thursday and Friday. There was a long span of green on the weather radar that covered the center of the country and moved east. It went from the Gulf of Mexico all the way North to Canada and it washed out racing action on Friday in Ennis. NHRA officials were forced to call the day fairly early around 2:30 p.m. The highlight of the day was taking a box of Sprinkles cupcakes to each of our seven teams. It was a great way to cheer everyone up during the rain.
That meant the pressure was on for all teams with two sessions to make the cut for the second race of the 2013 Countdown to the Championship. There were more than 16 cars in each of the nitro classes, so the teams had to run well. The rain blew out all the heat and humidity and it was cooler, dry, sunny conditions on Saturday and Sunday in Ennis. It was beautiful weather.
All of our teams made the cut and we had seven cars playing on race day. That makes us happy after Antron missed the bump last weekend at Charlotte. There was a little pressure again as the Matco team needed to run quicker than the 3.97 bump spot on their final qualifying pass and they did this time. Spencer and the Battery Extender team was our only dragster to start in the top half of the field at No. 6. Ron Capps led our Funny Car qualifying at No. 4 for the NAPA Auto Parts team. Having just two sessions bit another Countdown team as Khalid alBalooshi didn’t make the show for the Al-Anabi gold team. I’d like to see them add a third qualifying lap on Saturday when we lose both passes on Friday. Just my opinion.
Dallas is a very special race for the NAPA team because Bob Gant and the Dallas NAPA distribution center is where the DSR/NAPA Auto Parts relationship began years ago and it’s grown into one of the best sponsorships in the NHRA. Each Thursday before the Dallas race, Bob and the local Dallas DC hosts a dinner for customers and the race team at III Fork’s steakhouse in Dallas. It’s always a really fun time, so thanks for everything Bob and the entire NAPA DC.
We had another great partner at Dallas with Freightliner on Matt Hagan’s car. This is the third straight year we did a one-off with the stealth-looking black Freightliner Dodge Funny Car. Matt visited ATC Freightliner in Dallas on Wednesday and we had nearly 100 guests from the dealer at the track on Sunday to support Matt and his team.
On race day, we went six for seven in round one. All three dragsters won and our lone Funny Car to fall was Ron and the NAPA car. Spencer beat Antron and Tony fell to Morgan Lucas in round two and that left Spencer as our lone Top Fueler in the semis. Dallas is Spencer’s home track as he’s from nearby Ft. Worth. Matt and Johnny both smoked the tires and that left Jack and the MTS car as our lone flopper in the semis.
The racing action on Sunday was a bit subpar as the track turned into a one lane track. The majority of the wins after round one came from the left lane and if you didn’t have lane choice it was tough to maneuver the right lane. Both of our cars smoked the tires in the right lane in the semis and for the third straight race, DSR didn’t have a winner. I believe it’s just the second time this season that we haven’t had at least one car in the final round and both came in Texas.
The Lone star State meant no Wally’s for DSR this year. Maybe next year and maybe next week at St. Louis. Antron and Jack doubled-up at St. Louis last September and hopefully we can bring home a Wally at Gateway Motorsports Park next Sunday. It should be cool, in the 70s, which should mean some really quick times at Gateway. It will be a fun sports weekend with the Cardinals vs. Cubs next weekend and the 49ers at the Rams on Thursday Night Football before the race leading into our third race of the Countdown, so we’re excited to get to St. Louis for a fun weekend of NHRA racing. If you forget your jacket, you can swing by the DSR merch trailer and pick up a sweatshirt from one of our drivers. We’ve got ya covered!
Thanks for reading. I’m off to Florida. This is a big week. I have my first exam of grad school, so I’ve got to study up. This grad school stuff has been keeping me very busy. Long, four hour classes, so I need to keep focused. Getting to the racetrack is a great escape for me.
Have a great week.
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