Epping: Paul Lee final summary

Lee and J&B Motorsports race to finals in Epping EPPING, N.H. - Paul Lee and the Rislone Engine Treatment/J&B Motorsports Torco Pro Nitro Funny Car team bounced back to make their second final round appearance of the year during his past...

Lee and J&B Motorsports race to finals in Epping

EPPING, N.H. - Paul Lee and the Rislone Engine Treatment/J&B Motorsports Torco Pro Nitro Funny Car team bounced back to make their second final round appearance of the year during his past weekend's IHRA Amalie Oil North American Nationals presented by New England Area Dodge Dealers at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H. Lee posted his best run of the weekend against his opponent, No. 1 qualifier Bob Gilbertson, but left the line a mere .012 of a second too soon, resulting in a disqualification.

Lee, of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., qualified Jeff & Bonnie McGaffic's 2006 Monte Carlo fifth in the field with a 5.064 second elapsed time at 296.70 mph. In round one, Lee knocked off current points leader Dale Creasy, Jr., in round one with a 5.158 at 265.48 mph, then received a competition single in the semifinals when his scheduled opponent Andy Kelley could not make the call. Team Crew Chief/Tuner Jimbo Ermalovich took advantage of the single to make a test lap for the final and Lee shut off early as planned to a 7.36 at 116 mph.

In the final versus Gilbertson, despite the race being technically over on the starting line with Lee's foul start, the drama was far from over. Lee stepped up to a 4.961 at 293.86 mph to Gilbertson's 4.843 at 311.92 mph. Gilbertson exploded an engine in the lights, resulting in a huge fireball.

"This weekend was definitely a lot better," stated Lee. "We didn't set the world on fire with performance, but we got down the track every run. We also had the Speedvision in car camera on board this weekend, so it will be cool to see that come out in the TV coverage. I'm glad we could do a good job for Rislone, Allied Machine and our other sponsors this weekend. I was just trying to push the tree a little too hard in the final. I saw yellow, but I guess I was just too amped up. The car is starting to come around, and we're all happy about the direction the team is heading."

"We're very pleased with the weekend," said McGaffic. "The changes we made since last weekend seemed to have helped our piston problem. We came out on the first pass in qualifying and planned to shut it off early to see if we had the problem fixed. When we saw no damage, we just wanted to get down the track on Saturday, which is exactly what we did. We could have tried to hop it up the last pass, but we wanted to make sure we could duplicate two runs. You have to be consistent to win on a regular basis, and that's the goal for this Rislone Monte Carlo. After we got the win over Creasy in the first round, we knew we were getting a bye, so we stepped on it in the semi's. It responded favorably and made a good lap in the final."

To add to the pleasure of the strong outing, the weekend marked team owners Jeff and Bonnie's 16th wedding anniversary.

"To be able to have a good weekend like we did on our anniversary really meant a lot to us," stated McGaffic. "It really was the icing on the cake to a good outing."

The next stop on the IHRA/eMax Drag Racing Series schedule for the Rislone/J&B Motorsports team will the the resumption of the rained-out Canadian Nationals at Toronto Motorsports Park, Sept. 23-24.

-credit: jbmotorsports

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Series Drag
Drivers Bob Gilbertson , Paul Lee