Mike Ferderer Phoenix Review

Ferderer puts Gumout on top PHOENIX (Mar 1) -- It took seven grueling rounds of drag racing, but when the Arizona desert dust finally settled late Sunday night at Firebird International Raceway, Pennzoil sportsman driver Mike Ferderer had ...

Ferderer puts Gumout on top

PHOENIX (Mar 1) -- It took seven grueling rounds of drag racing, but when the Arizona desert dust finally settled late Sunday night at Firebird International Raceway, Pennzoil sportsman driver Mike Ferderer had emerged as the Super Comp Champion of the 15th Annual Checker Schucks Kragen Nationals. The win marked the third time in four events this season that the Buckley, Wash., native was able to drive his Gumout machine into the Victory Circle, with all three wins coming in the state of Arizona.

"I love this state," Ferderer said. "So does this dragster. Boy, this was a real battle. I felt like a cat at a dogfight every round because it always seemed like I was on the bottom looking up. Every race I was the lower seed and almost every race I was beaten off the starting line. Still, the Gumout car came through every time. It's so nice to start the year out like this. Obviously, it would be impossible to keep up this winning pace but I sure am enjoying it right now."

Ferderer's best race of the day came in the finals when he lined up against local renowned chassis builder Tom Yancer from Chandler, Ariz. Running on an altitude-adjusted index of 8.97 seconds, Ferderer pasted Yancer at the tree with a reaction-time advantage of 0.417 seconds to 0.428 seconds. Playing catch-up, Yancer ran past Ferderer and tripped the timers in 8.968 seconds thereby disqualifying himself due to a break-out violation. Ferderer's time of 9.015 seconds awarded him the win.

"When it's your day, it's your day," Ferderer said. "To beat a guy like Yancer is a real feat. He builds a lot of these cars and literally knows them inside and out. Getting the jump at the light really helped because it took him out of his game enough that I was able to beat him."

Ferderer's earlier successes at the PRO National Time Trials and the John Myers Classic weren't as prominent as this one because they occurred in the preseason before the Federal Mogul points chase officially began. Nevertheless, his 75 percent winning ratio is unheard of in a class that boasts over 4,100 competitors nationwide.

The 1998 Car Craft Super Gas Driver of the Year also reached the third round of eliminations in his Pennzoil Super Gas Pontiac before getting eliminated due to a twisted axle. Ferderer will race both cars again Mar. 18-21 at the NHRA's next stop in Gainesville Fla.

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Series NHRA