Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kurt Busch NHRA Debut at 2011 Gatornationals

“Just three-hundredths of a second… puts you back on the trailer”

GAINESVILLE, FL – What happens when a team is backed by a sovereign nation? It wins races of course! After leaving 0.004 seconds late, Del Worsham drove past Tony Schumacher in the final round of Top Fuel with a 0.004 second margin ( 3.858s to 3.866s). This is Worsham’s first Top Fuel win after a reasonably successful career in Funny Car. Speaking of Funny Car, Mike Neff ran a quick 4.092s, 310.48mph blast in the final round against Cruz Pedregon who after spinning his wheels at the start could manage no better than a 7.819s, 99.32 mph run. I think I could better that in my wife’s Yukon!

The excitement for the weekend was Pro Stock. Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, made his debut in NHRA. Driving a Dodge Avenger sporting the familiar Shell-Pennzoil motif, Busch impressed many by qualifying for the field. After a couple of failed qualifying runs – succumbing to tire shake on his first and staging late for his second round – Busch was able to place his car 12th on the grid with a 6.532s pass, pitting him against 4th qualifier Erica Enders. The experienced Enders left ahead of Busch with a .021s vs. 0.04s reaction time. Kurt however was impressive running a 6.541s, 211.59mph. It was not good enough however against Erica’s 6.538s, 211.69mph run. Busch reflected on drag racing, “What’s amazing is [the difference in the race is] just three-hundredths of a second; in this game of drag racing, that puts you back on the trailer.” All-in-all, though he got beat by a girl, Busch had pretty good first day at the office.

The final round of Pro Stock saw Summit Racing team-mates Jason Line and Greg Anderson facing off. Line bettered Anderson at the light running a slower 6.554s, 211.96mph against Anderson’s 6.545s, 212.43mph, for his win second win in two races. “I unintentionally snookered Greg,” Line commented, “because my top bulb blinked a little bit just as it had for Stanfield in Pomona. As a result, it was a really long tree, which caught both of us off guard. Neither one of us had a particularly great light, but mine was just a little better, putting my Summit Racing Pontiac in the winner’s circle.”

Pro Stock bike saw Harley Davidson rider Eddie Krawiec run a near-perfect 6.847s, 197.08s run against a red-lighting Karen Stoffer.

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