Baytown: Doug Foley Saturday notes

Foley maintains firm grip on fifth starting slot HOUSTON (March 29) -- Top Fuel driver Doug Foley will start Sunday's elimination racing action at the 21st annual O'Reilly Spring NHRA Nationals in the coveted top-half of the 16-car field after a...

Foley maintains firm grip on fifth starting slot

HOUSTON (March 29) -- Top Fuel driver Doug Foley will start Sunday's elimination racing action at the 21st annual O'Reilly Spring NHRA Nationals in the coveted top-half of the 16-car field after a strong qualifying effort of 4.582 seconds at 303.09 mph.

Foley's part-time team is already showing full-time racing savvy by out-running many of the top teams in the sport's most elite category. The entire Foley & Lewis operation is doing everything it can to gain the attention of a full-time corporate backer and hope another strong showing at Houston Raceway Park will help the never-ending hunt for sponsorship.

"We're exceptionally proud of what we've accomplished these past two races," Foley said. "To come out here with zero testing and already earn a spot in the top half of an elimination field among this group of talented drivers and well-funded race teams is phenomenal. It's a real credit to a dedicated group of guys who refuse to give an inch."

Like many of the teams in attendance, Foley's run of record came in Friday's second session, the only round conducted after sunset. Saturday's final two rounds were little more than glorified test sessions for the better cars as increased temperatures kept performances in check.

"As soon as that morning cloud cover burned off we shifted our attention to working on a consistent race day tune-up," said co-team owner Tim Lewis. "We were pretty confident in our position on the grid and we figured we'll be seeing the same sort of weather conditions tomorrow so it was time to perfect our warm weather set-up."

Foley shined in the hotter races last year, scoring five semifinals finishes in the heat while earning the nickname "Giant Killer" from the media for his numerous dismissals of higher-ranked opponents.

"We're big on getting the car down the track every time," Foley said. "It's fun to go out there and shoot for the moon on Friday nights but the reality is we race when the sun's out. The better a team is at getting down the track every time when the sun's shining, the better their chances of winning rounds. It sounds simple, but it's true.

"I'll take [crew chief] Doug Kuch over anyone out here, especially in the heat. He's proven so much to me over the past few years and it's a great feeling to get in a racecar that he's prepared because I know I can just concentrate on my job and turning on the win light. The car is always gonna be there and, as a driver, you can't ask for anything more."

After racing under the financial umbrella of FX Caprara Kia for the past two events, Foley will be parking his race car after this event while he continues his search for a full-time sponsor. This weekend in Houston, Foley and Lewis Racing also is enjoying the support of Texas-based Tigerflow Systems and PMS Excavating.

"We're very fortunate to have so many great companies that believe in us," Foley said, "including Dake, J.B. Parks & Son, and Jet Label & Tape. We will get this car funded and we will run for the POWERade championship very soon. This group is very talented, as we've shown in this brief appearance, and we're not going away quietly."

-credit: f&l

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Foley