Englishtown: Tony Bartone Saturday summary

BARTONE AND LUCAS OIL RACING NO.1 IN E-TOWN Runs Quickest Time in Funny Car Qualifying -- 4.787 Seconds ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 17) -- The meticulous marvel that Jim Dunn Racing has become in the NHRA ranks proved proficient in Saturday's ...

BARTONE AND LUCAS OIL RACING NO.1 IN E-TOWN

Runs Quickest Time in Funny Car Qualifying -- 4.787 Seconds

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 17) -- The meticulous marvel that Jim Dunn Racing has become in the NHRA ranks proved proficient in Saturday's qualifying for the K&N Filters NHRA SuperNationals as Tony Bartone seized his first Skoal Low E.T. Award behind the wheel of the Lucas Oil Chevrolet Monte Carlo Funny Car. In just his fifth season behind the wheel as a pro, the North Hills, N.Y. native took the No. 1 spot after making a run of 4.787 seconds, 324.76 mph on Friday that prevailed through the remainder of qualifying.

Since he has turned the magic age of 50 just last weekend at the Chicago race, it's been a nonstop whirlwind of performance ever since.

"I have goose bumps right now and it really hasn't sunk in yet," said a delighted Bartone. "It certainly has been a good first week of being 50. We had a great outing in Chicago -- qualified good with career best's two runs in a row (4.761), but the really special weekend is here at Englishtown and being No. 1 is a career milestone. I'm just ecstatic to qualify in No. 1 position."

"You know I think I'm still dreaming. I want someone to pinch me or kick me to see if I wake up. Doing it here in Englishtown, more or less my home track for the last 20 years and having family and friends make a special moment even more special."

For Bartone, preparation is the key for tomorrow's race and he wants to be razor sharp in hopes of making his dream come true of winning his first nitro Funny Car race.

"I'm going to get a good night's sleep and prepare to battle tomorrow," said Bartone, who will race Bob Gilbertson in the first round of eliminations on Sunday. "My race philosophy is to go up there and try to leave on time and do what I do best and that is driving the car."

Before Bartone left the media, he added another comment emphasizing the role his sponsors play in his success.

"To run these race cars takes a lot of corporate support," said Bartone. "Without the companies like Lucas Oil, Craftsman Tools, Superwinch and Moon Eyes that offer such great support to Jim Dunn Racing, we wouldn't be able to do what we love to do. For all they give to us, we're extremely happy to reciprocate to put them No. 1 on Sunday."

Morgan Lucas, Bartone's Top Fuel teammate, qualified 13th with an elapsed time of 4.636 seconds, 313.66 mph and will race Doug Kalitta in his first round of competition.

The K&N Filters SuperNationals takes the green light promptly at 11 a.m. EDT and ESPN2 will air from 4 - 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 18.

-lor

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