F-M's Sergio Recio Firebird wrap up

CHANDLER, Ariz. - Federal Mogul Dragster driver Sergio Recio had what may have been his first final round appearance taken away from him in his semifinal matchup with Brandon Henkelman during this past weekend's NHRA Division 7 opener at Firebird...

CHANDLER, Ariz. - Federal Mogul Dragster driver Sergio Recio had what may have been his first final round appearance taken away from him in his semifinal matchup with Brandon Henkelman during this past weekend's NHRA Division 7 opener at Firebird Raceway, just outside of Phoenix. After posting an impressive .898 60 ft time, Recio was ahead of his opponent Henkelman when his throttle cable broke on his dragster, rendering him helpless. Henkelman streaked on to an elapsed time of 5.638 at 261.78 miles per hour over Recio's coasting 6.230 at only 157.87 mph.

Due to excessive rain delays, qualifying was canceled for the Federal Mogul Dragsters, and the fields were set according to 2000 national points standings. In round one Recio received a bye-run when scheduled opponent, and former Top Fuel driver, Marshall Topping was a no show. Recio then ran low e.t. of the second round in putting away future Top Fuel driver Brandon Bernstein's A/Fuel Dragster with a 5.603 at 253.09 mph before meeting Henkelman in the semifinals.

"It was pretty hard going into eliminations without any qualifying passes," said Recio. "Luckily we had a bye run that first round, because it shook the tires real hard off the line. After that, we just set the car up pretty conservative to get down the track. We were pretty happy with that 5.60 in the second round."

"In the semifinals, he [Henkelman] left on me, but we had an .898 60' time, so we caught up with him pretty quick," Recio continued. "Right after I hit high gear, the throttle linkage just let go, and he blew by me. I couldn't even see him until the linkage broke. We were pretty excited and wanted to make our first final round at the first race out. Things like that just happen. You just got to accept it and go on."

After the team's career best outing in Phoenix, the Cash-n-Go team has it's hopes high for a win at next weekend's AutoZone Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.

"Everyone is real excited about next week in Pomona," stated Recio. "My crew chief is real excited about these 60' times this car is running. He's compared those times with [Defending four time World Champion] Rick Santos, and we don't think he has run that quick to 60' with the rules changes. He feels that if he can get the tire shake out of the car, we might be able to run .40's next week. I know it's easier said than done, but I feel we're heading in the right direction."

Qualifying in Pomona for the Federal Mogul Dragsters starts on Thursday at noon, with two more qualifying runs at 10 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. Stay tuned to SummitRacing.com's Drag Race Central for round by round updates from Pomona.

-Wll Hanna

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Series NHRA
Drivers Rick Santos