Diehl Looks to Turn Season around in Martin
The 2008 season has not gone as Jeff Diehl would have hoped. The Nitro Funny Car driver from Salinas, California has yet to visit the winner's circle in IHRA competition this year and remains in search of his first round win. However, despite the on-track struggles Diehl is convinced things are headed in the right direction.
"This has been a crazy, crazy year," Diehl said of his 2008 campaign. "It seems like every race has had something little come up to bite us in the butt. The thing is, we have made tremendous strides on this car. We've had a lot of help getting things turned around and corrected a ton of small things we were doing wrong. We have four races left in the season and our goal when we started this year was to finish in the top five. That's what we're shooting for."
Diehl currently resides eighth in IHRA's 2008 Nitro Funny Car points standings. He is 102 points behind fifth-place Paul Lee, so he knows his charge will have to start at the Northern Nationals in Martin, Mich. Aug. 1-3.
"There aren't a lot of races left so we have to step up our game a little bit," Diehl said. "We spent the last couple of weeks in Ohio going through the car from front to back, looking to fine tune it for this race. We feel like we're ready. Every time we go through the car we find a small thing here or a small thing there that needs attention. We had a long week and put in a lot of work, but I think we're ready for Martin."
This season Diehl, who has one career national event victory, has been solid during qualifying. He has advanced to the elimination rounds at every 2008 event except one, but has found the going a bit tougher on Sundays.
"Like I said, little things have jumped up to bite us," he said. "We have had a really consistent car all season, which is amazing when you consider some of the mechanical flaws we found a couple of months ago that we've been running with all season. Being consistent on Friday and Saturday is nice, but being consistent on Sunday is what racing is all about. My guys are working really hard and I have every confidence in the world we can go some rounds the rest of the season."
The Torco Northern Nationals will take place Aug. 1-3 at US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Mich.