Grand Bend: Rob Atchison preview

Ontario's Own Rob Atchison Returns To Grand Bend Motorplex Champion Drag Racer Looks For First Win of the Season at Home Track NORWALK, Ohio (May 17, 2006) -- Rob Atchison, of London, Ontario, won for the first time at Grand Bend (Ontario)...

Ontario's Own Rob Atchison Returns To Grand Bend Motorplex

Champion Drag Racer Looks For First Win of the Season at Home Track

NORWALK, Ohio (May 17, 2006) -- Rob Atchison, of London, Ontario, won for the first time at Grand Bend (Ontario) Motorplex three years ago when he drove his Erickson Manufacturing Alcohol Funny Car to a final round win against five-time former world champion Mark Thomas. Since then, Atchison's gone on to win three-consecutive IHRA world championships, however, hasn't won again at his home track.

Atchison, who will turn 31 this year, hopes to change that as he returns to Grand Bend June 2-4, for the MOPAR Canadian Nationals presented by Castrol, race three of the 2006 eMax Drag Racing Series. He enters the race second place in the point standings behind Thomas.

"While it's always great to race at home, it often builds up so much pressure that it can really get out of hand," said Atchison. "We just need to go back and focus on the basics, let all the stress go, and really concentrate on getting our first win of the season."

The team, consisting of family and friends, and based out of their London, Ont.-business, Atchison Machine, faces the challenge of figuring out a new vehicle and engine combination. After a runner-up finish at the first race of the season in San Antonio, and a semifinal loss in Rockingham, N.C., the team will be testing to prepare for the event, including a session at Toronto Motorsports Park, another eMax Drag Racing Series stop, and an NHRA divisional race in Reading, Pa.

"We always set our goals high, and the championship is the ultimate prize," said Atchison "Right now, we've set the hurdles a bit shorter. We need to get to where the car is going down the track consistently. The car is still fast, but not as consistent as we need it.

"We'll do some testing, but where we'll learn a lot is at the divisional event in Reading," added Atchison. "You can go test, but its best to judge yourself against other Funny Cars. You can learn so much more."

While never underestimating his opponents, Atchison is confident in his team's chances of another world championship.

"The good thing about winning is you never forget how to do it," said Atchison. "The team knows how. We just have to get the car where it needs to be, and go out and win."

-ram

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Series Drag
Drivers Mark Thomas