Bristol, TN - It wasn't for lack of trying, but Semora, NC's Chip King saw his weekend came to a disappointing end Sunday after an intensive between-rounds engine change took just four minutes too long. Considering the fact that King runs ...
Bristol, TN - It wasn't for lack of trying, but Semora, NC's Chip King saw his weekend came to a disappointing end Sunday after an intensive between-rounds engine change took just four minutes too long. Considering the fact that King runs experimental Chrysler Hemi engines in his 2001 Dodge Avenger, however, his relatively breakage-free performance so far this season has been pretty remarkable.
King qualified his Indy Cylinder Heads-sponsored Mopar in the number two spot for the Mac Tools NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals this weekend at Bristol Dragway, echoing an equally strong effort in Gainesville last month. The stealthy silver supercharged Dodge, tuned by Hemi guru Bill Barrett, has been making a lot of waves in Pro Mod since late last season, performing extremely well for a car powered by a prototype engine still in the early stages of development.
In Sunday's first elimination round, King posted a solid 6.361/223.36 to dispatch the Corvette of Todd Tutterow, but broke an oilpan in the process. Between rounds, King's crew thrashed frantically to get a fresh powerplant bolted in, but missed the call to the line by an agonizing four minutes.
"That's not the way we saw things shaking out this weekend," said King. "The way we've been running, I really thought we had a good shot at going to the final, and possibly winning the whole thing. It was real disappointing, because everyone tried so hard to get the work done. It's one thing to lose on the track, and another to lose to the stopwatch. It's really frustrating."
It sounds like the Indy team has a spanking new incentive program working for them now, and we won't have to wait long to see it in action. In less than a week's time they'll be lining up to take another shot at victory lane at the Advance Auto Parts NHRA Southern nationals at Commerce, GA's Atlanta Dragway. And look for them to show up at the track a few minutes early, just to be on the safe side.