Jones makes first laps in Western Stabilization A/Fueler
CHANDLER, Ariz. - Top Alcohol Dragster driver Paul Jones made his first laps in the Darien & Meadows owned Western Stabilization A/Fuel Dragster during this past weekend's National Time Trials held at Firebird International Raceway just outside of Phoenix.
It only took Jones two passes before team co-owner and crew chief Jerry Darien felt that he had the A/Fuel routine down. The majority of Jones' driving experience has been in Blown Alcohol Dragsters, which are completely different to drive.
"We got to the racetrack on Saturday morning," said Jones, from Stockton, Calif. "Our first order of business was getting me in the car and going through the warm-up procedure, which went pretty well. It took a little getting used to on adjusting the fuel pressure; it was a little different from what I was used to doing in the blown car. Then we went to make the first run. It was like I told a few other people, it wasn't so much trying to learn the new stuff to do, but it's more about forgetting the old stuff. After driving a blown car for a couple of years, you kind of get some habits and get into a routine, which is totally different from the way you have to drive an A/Fuel car."
"As a whole, I'm real happy with the way things went," Jones continued. "Both [Jerry] Darien and [Ken] Meadows and the crew seems to be happy with my performance, and I am definitely happy with those guys. It is really awesome to be out there with a group of professional guys that are out there to win races and make things happen. I really couldn't have picked a better group of guys. They do what they need to do to get the car down the track. Sitting there in the car on the starting line, it gives me an overwhelming sense of confidence knowing the wealth of knowledge that is behind me and tuning this car."
After experiencing problems on the first run, Jones and the team came back around for a second run, which turned out to be a success. With a conservative tune-up and only a 1000' pass, Jones recorded a 5.49 second elapsed time. It was so much of a success that Darien felt that Jones was ready for the upcoming K&N Filters Winternationals, and didn't need any more passes.
"I drove the car to 1000' and went 5.49," stated Jones. "The car went 214 mph to half track, which was my fastest mph to that point ever. It wasn't even really a stepped up tune up, either. Jerry just wanted to get the car down the track. I'm really looking forward to the Winternationals. I think we have a shot at winning."
In addition to the team and car's performance, Jones is looking forward to another year with Western Stabilization.
"I really have to thank Western Stabilization," commented Jones. "Without them none of this would be possible. Ashley Jeffery, his wife Judy, his daughter Justine, and Dick the General Manager have all really stepped up and made this deal happen. It's like I've said before, every time I turn around, the deal just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter. The car turned out beautiful. Kevin Vornhagen did an awesome job with the paint job. My buddies at the Sign Shop here in Stockton did all the decals. I think this is going to be a good year for us."
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