Bristol, TN) As the NHRA Full Throttle tour made its annual stop in Bristol, the track that is set in the gorgeous hills of eastern Tennessee reminds everyone of just how much the sport of drag racing mimics this beautiful facility. Set in a...
Bristol, TN) As the NHRA Full Throttle tour made its annual stop in Bristol, the track that is set in the gorgeous hills of eastern Tennessee reminds everyone of just how much the sport of drag racing mimics this beautiful facility. Set in a valley that is surrounded by the peaks of Appalachian hills, the racers are reminded that our sport too, is a series of peaks and valleys.
For Rodger Brogdon and team the experiences of this weekend's competition were more peaks than valleys as the team continues to refine their on track performance. Even with an early race day dismissal, the attitude of everyone on the team was upbeat as the car was serviced after running 6.699, 206.80 mph coming up just short against fellow GM racer Kurt Johnson in the opening round.
The Charter Communication Pontiac GXP responded to the chassis work that had taken place at the Cagnazzi race shop in the time since the last race in St. Louis by opening the weekend with a 5th quickest and 3rd fastest run in the opening qualifying session. Round two qualifying saw the team improve to second fastest, and a solid top-half qualifying birth for the first time in the young team's history. As qualifying continued on Saturday the car continued to shine in the performance category in the early session, then slowed in the weekends final qualifying effort as a valve spring broke early in the run.
"Sure, it would have been nice to get a win over Kurt in the opening round," said Brogdon, "but the fact that we continue to improve in essentially all facets of our operation is the most impressive. Against Kurt, the car moved to the left right off the line and getting it corrected and back into the groove cost us those precious hundredths of a second that were the difference at the finish line. We'll get there," Rodger added, "it'll just take time to continue to refine our race day package. It's called PRO stock because every component on race day needs to be as perfect as possible."
With a week off before the next stop on the NHRA Full Throttle tour the team will look to refine their set-up even more in preparation for the grueling schedule that will encompass the next couple of months. As the 2009 race season moves into full swing, the Charter Communication Pro Stock team knows that they're looking at the next seven races in a span of ten short weeks. With the progress that they've made so far, the challenges that once appeared as mountains on the horizon now appear to be much smaller hills to climb.