MANZO SHATTERS 5.50-SECOND BARRIER RICHMOND (Oct. 13) -- Frank Manzo, driver of the Lucas Oil Chevrolet Monte Carlo Alcohol Funny Car smashed to smithereens the 5.50-second barrier in Lucas Oil sportsman qualifying in the inaugural running of...
MANZO SHATTERS 5.50-SECOND BARRIER
RICHMOND (Oct. 13) -- Frank Manzo, driver of the Lucas Oil Chevrolet Monte Carlo Alcohol Funny Car smashed to smithereens the 5.50-second barrier in Lucas Oil sportsman qualifying in the inaugural running of the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.
The Morganville, N.J. pilot, who clinched his 10th NHRA Lucas Oil Alcohol Funny Car championship just weeks ago, achieved his mark by scorching the quarter-mile with a run of 5.469 seconds, 262.44 mph easily placing his Lucas Oil Chevy in the No.1 position on the qualifying ladder surpassing the previous mark held by fellow Alcohol Funny Car racer, Jay Payne of 5.519 seconds.
"No doubt about it, the air here in Virginia this particular weekend is probably some of the best air I've ever seen," said a happy Manzo. "The grains of water which measures how dry the air is very low today. In an Alcohol Funny Car, that really increases the horsepower. We went up there for the first run thinking the track wouldn't be that good until after the pro cars ran. We were surprised at how well the car ran with the track conditions we had. We went down the track and made a full run and we were very astonished to go 5.46. We had it detuned and a little calmed down, but we were lucky. We have that great Lucas Oil in our race car and that allows us to do whatever we want."
With a marvelous record-setting elapsed time like that, it didn't take very long for the word to get out.
"I had 10 phone calls on my cell when I got back to the trailer," said Manzo, who also added to his impressive list of Division 1 championships to 16. "It's just unbelievable that happened only 20 minutes after I made the run. It's incredible how fast the news gets around the whole United States and I even got a phone call from the west coast to congratulate me. That was very nice of everybody and that was fun. Records are great to have, but I'm not here to break the National record for Alcohol Funny Car, but rather to win the race and put our Lucas Oil Chevy in the winner's circle."
His 5.46 E.T. was the first leg of one per cent backup to acquire the record and add to his championship point total.
"If we go 5.51 or quicker that would back up the NHRA National Record and that would be great. Does the motor say we can go quicker and faster; yes it does, but will the track allow us to go quicker, we'll just have to wait and see tonight."
It only took Manzo 5.517 seconds at a speed of 260.11 mph, in the second qualifying session, to regain the National record to go along with him cinching the title.
Manzo has one more qualifying opportunity to lower his mark of 5.46 seconds at 10:30 a.m. for his final session, which will lead into first round of eliminations on Saturday at 4:45 p.m.
His other Lucas Oil pro teammates, Morgan Lucas qualified his Top Fuel dragster currently in the No. 10 position with a time of 4.601 seconds, 311.70 mph and Tony Bartone driving the Jim Dunn-owned Chevrolet Funny Car is in the No. 15 position with an elapsed time of 4.985 seconds, 250.27 mph.
There will be two professional qualifying sessions at Virginia Motorsports Park beginning at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday.