Medford: Paul Jones preview

MEDFORD, Ore. - NHRA Federal Mogul Dragster sophomore Paul Jones will be looking to play the role of spoiler during this weekend's NHRA Division 6 Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series event in Medford, Ore. This weekend's favorites are title...

MEDFORD, Ore. - NHRA Federal Mogul Dragster sophomore Paul Jones will be looking to play the role of spoiler during this weekend's NHRA Division 6 Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series event in Medford, Ore. This weekend's favorites are title contenders Mark Hentges and Rick Santos, but Jones and the Western Stabilization/Redline Oil team have other plans.

Jones, from Stockton, Calif., has had performances this year that many times have been better than his veteran counterparts, including a stellar 5.38 second pass at the Prolong Northwest Nationals in Seattle earlier in the year. This weekend, Jones hopes to use that performance, and the experience he has gained over the last year and a half to upset this weekend's favorites, and potentially pick up his first career win.

"We're looking forward to the race," said Jones. "We have a new transmission put together to hopefully prevent any future problems like we saw in Earlville [Iowa, the team's last race]. Mechanically, the car is sound. We have a full crew going, and we are looking forward to going up there and playing with the 'big boys.' We've been to Medford before, we think this year we will see better air and track conditions. We think we have as good a chance as anyone to go up there and be the 'spoil sport' so to speak."

Jones, who has been consistently in the 5.40 to 5.50 range at his last few races, expects to stay in that zone this weekend, if not quicker.

"It all depends on the weather in Oregon," stated Jones. "It can go from anywhere like 90 degrees to 50 degrees and rain, so it's really hard to predict what we can run. I know that when the weather conditions are good, there is not a lot of humidity in the air and it's at a very low altitude, so I wouldn't be surprised to see some cars in the 5.30's."

"If the weather is bad," Jones continued, "it's bad for everybody. Then the track will be the deciding factor in who is going to win the race. We'll see what the weather throws us, and we should be able to go right to the top of the program in qualifying, and hopefully stay on our game for eliminations."

Qualifying begins Friday night for the Federal Mogul Dragsters, with two qualifying sessions. Final eliminations will be ran Saturday night.

-PJR-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Rick Santos , Paul Jones