Epping: Von Smith race ntoes

EPPING,N.H.-Von Smith was hoping to get another crack at chief Funny Car rival Scott Weney for two reasons. He was aiming to avenge his loss to Weney two weeks ago in Norwalk, Ohio, but more importantly, he wanted to chisel into some of that...

EPPING,N.H.-Von Smith was hoping to get another crack at chief Funny Car rival Scott Weney for two reasons.

He was aiming to avenge his loss to Weney two weeks ago in Norwalk, Ohio, but more importantly, he wanted to chisel into some of that 49-point championship deficit. First-alternate Tony Bogolo put an end to those quests during Sunday's first-round elimination at the Parts Pro North American Nationals.

Bogolo made it three-for-three in the upset column, and at the same time, he brought an abrupt end to the weekend for the driver of the Atomic City Tool-Nitro Fish Trans-Am with his elapsed time of 6.058 seconds at 235.06 mph to Smith's 6.347/176.70.

Smith experienced problems from the start. The two-time defending Funny Car champion was very late getting off the Christmas tree and then shook and danced all over the New England Dragway quarter-mile.

After two days of trials, Smith looked to be in a good position to resume his challenge of Weney for Funny Car supremacy. Smith had a best 5.909/239.06 to his credit after the first day of qualifying. The three-time Funny Car king from Oak Ridge, Tenn., followed his trend with a 5.907/239.02 during Saturday's first session. He failed to improve with a run of 5.967 seconds on his final pass and entered Sunday's elimination rounds as the fourth quickest.

Now Smith will go back to the drawing board to formulate plans for the next IHRA race, which comes Sept. 21-23 at the CARQUEST Autumn Nationals in Rockingham, N.C.

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Series Drag
Drivers Scott Weney , Von Smith