Grand Bend, ON - In spite of the meteorological culture shock the South Carolina native must have been experiencing, second year sensation Alan Pittman ignored the cold, rainy conditions at the 2nd Annual Mopar Performance Parts Canadian Nationals...
Grand Bend, ON - In spite of the meteorological culture shock the South Carolina native must have been experiencing, second year sensation Alan Pittman ignored the cold, rainy conditions at the 2nd Annual Mopar Performance Parts Canadian Nationals presented by Castrol, parlaying bracket car-like consistency into a top qualifying spot and his second Pro Modified win in three outings this year.
The unseasonably cold and rainy conditions at Ontario's Grand Bend Motorplex had crew chiefs talking to themselves by the end of the day Saturday, but Pittman's head wrench Darren Mayer had things well in hand, sending his driver to a succession of 6.29 passes through qualifying and into the elimination rounds.
The victory was all the sweeter since Pittman, after a win at the season-opener at Rockingham, failed to qualify at the next race in Virginia due to a problem with faulty clutch parts. This time there were no mechanical problems, but the bitter cold and damp air conspired to throw the top competitors a curve of another type. On the upside, a blower combination such as that run by Pittman in the Westbrook Motorsports '41 Willys often benefits greatly from an infusion of cold air.
"We know we (the supercharged cars) have a bit of an advantage when the weather is like this," said Pittman. "But wait until the middle of August, when the heat and humidity set in big time. Then watch the nitrous cars come on strong. We have to make our points early and late in the season and then try to hold off the bottle guys the rest of the time. That's what makes this class so much fun."
At Grand Bend, Pittman admitted that his biggest concern all weekend was his semi-final match-up with hot-running Mike Janis, who ripped off a stunning pass of 6.19/227.44 in the first round. With the weekend on the line, at least in Pittman's mind, he reeled off another 6.299 at 222.00 to take out Janis, who limped through the top end with a destroyed clutch.
In the final, it was another classic blower versus nitrous showdown, as Pittman faced off against Quain Stott. The professional car builder fired off the line first with a great .418 reaction time, and went on to post his best run of the weekend, 6.244/222.11 to cap things off in style. "This was a total team effort this weekend," said Pittman." We're just tickled to be able to come to Canada and run so well. We're back in the groove now."