CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT NOT ENOUGH TO PROPEL BRANDON "THE KID" PAST PAYNE
BROKEN ARROW, OKLA - September 25, 2006 The birthday party didn't quite go as planned for Brandon "The Kid" Lewis who rebounded from a major mechanical problem during qualifying only to be put out in the first round at the O'Reilly Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex.
The second-year NHRA top alcohol funny car driver posted improved times with each of his qualifying runs despite throwing a rod through the side of the engine block at the end of his second pass.
"We wanted to get a solid pass in early, which we did in our first run, and keep improving on it," Lewis said. "If we didn't have to change motors after our second pass, maybe things end up different. Then again, maybe they don't."
The Broken Arrow, Okla. native qualified No. 11 with an elapsed time of 5.811 seconds.
Lewis's Aluminum Tank and Truck Accessories Monte Carlo lined up against veteran Jay Payne for Saturday evening's first-round dual.
Payne came away with the win as Lewis smoked the tires off the line.
Lewis, who turns 21-years-old this week, said qualifying was important for Lewis Racing Team after a disappointment the week earlier at the Houston divisional, but moving on to the second round is becoming a crucial obstacle.
"Sure, making the show at a national event is always good, but our team needs to get itself in a position that qualifying is just one step toward winning more races and getting closer to an event win," he said.