Distracted Foley impresses despite early exit ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 22) -- In a race marred by the death of Funny Car racer Scott Kalitta, Top Fuel pro Doug Foley of Sewell, N.J., was removed from action early Sunday after he left the starting...
Distracted Foley impresses despite early exit
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 22) -- In a race marred by the death of Funny Car racer Scott Kalitta, Top Fuel pro Doug Foley of Sewell, N.J., was removed from action early Sunday after he left the starting line before the green light, an automatic disqualification.
It was a disappointing ending for Foley, who once again wowed the drag racing world with a stellar qualifying effort of 4.532 seconds at 327.43 mph, good enough to place his FX Caprara Car Companies dragster a lofty third on the race day grid. But Foley wasn't too upset by his -.056 second red-light considering the circumstances.
"I'll admit I was very distracted today," Foley said. "You try to tune everything out when the visor goes down but my heart just wasn't in it today. Scott Kalitta was one of the first professional racers to welcome me to the circuit and I've never forgotten that. I thought it was pretty cool that a two-time world champ with a trophy room full of Wallys was kind enough to talk to the new guy, but he did.
"Just like Scott, I have two sons and it really makes you think long and hard about what we do. Racers are a different breed and I know he loved drag racing as much as anyone, but it seems a little crazy at times like this."
This was Foley's third national event of the season and the second time he's qualified in the top half of the field. He was the No. 4 qualifier in Houston.
Sunday's disqualification was Foley's first in almost two years. His last red-light start came at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis in September of 2006.
"It is so rare for me to do that," said Foley, a drag racing school owner and instructor. "I really was surprised to see that red light come on. I guess these are some of the things you have to deal when you're not in the driver's seat every weekend.
"I feel we proved again that we are a serious player when we come to the races and I am positive that when we get a full-time sponsor and are running every event we'll be tough to deal with. This qualifying effort shows once again that we are capable of big things."
Foley and his team had a lot of work to do on Friday night to get this racecar ready for Sunday after a problem with the parachutes caused him to make a 150-mph trip into the sand-trap and catch fence. The crew worked until 3 a.m. to repair the damage and make certain the car was safe to resume competition.
The group leaves Old Bridge Township Raceway Park to prepare for two days of activity at Doug Foley's Drag Racing School at Atco Raceway in Atco, N.J.