National: Johnny Ahten Pomona preview

AHTEN HOPES TO START THE SEASON ON FIRE Pomona, Calif. -- "Pumped up," was how A/Fuel Dragster driver Johnny Ahten described his feelings as he prepares to enter the Lucas Oil/Island Renovations Ahten Racing 'Stump-puller' in the...

AHTEN HOPES TO START THE SEASON ON FIRE

Pomona, Calif. -- "Pumped up," was how A/Fuel Dragster driver Johnny Ahten described his feelings as he prepares to enter the Lucas Oil/Island Renovations Ahten Racing 'Stump-puller' in the very competitive Top Alcohol Dragster category this weekend at the 50th Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals to be held at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.

For the fire fighter specialist from Santa Clarita, Calif. the 50th 'Big Go West' is more than simply the beginning of the 2010 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, it is a chance to capture victory at a historic event. "The 50th Big Go West is very special to me and my racing family," noted Ahten. "Between my dad, Uncle Bob and I, I'm sure we've attended the majority of these races over the years. To race our A/Fuel Dragster at this event is an enormous honor. And I'm looking forward to matching up against some of the best cars and drivers in the world this weekend."

The Lucas Oil/Island Renovations Ahten Racing team enters this weekend's race with a freshly assembled car, completely ready to tear up the lightning quick Parker Avenue quarter-mile. At the season ending NHRA World Finals contested last year in November, Howard Katano, Johnny's father Al, his uncle Bob, Todd "Rocky" Rockwell and Kevin "Shark" Colvell tuned Ahten to a career best elapsed time; a 5.256 second blast at 269.78 miles per hour in the second qualifying session of the weekend. A repeat of last year's qualifying effort is definitely on the mind of the Southern California 'flame chaser'.

"In my perfect world, we'd unload this car on Thursday for qualifying and lay down the same performance in Q-1 as we did in the second session last year. If we can do that, we'll service the car and save those parts for eliminations," said Ahten. "The way this car performed at the end of the season last year, we feel our perfect world scenario might be a reality. The car ran great in the high altitude of Las Vegas, and we ran career numbers last fall at this same track. Howard and the boys found some serious performance in this car. We believe our best days are ahead of us. Hopefully, those days come this weekend at the 50th."

Johnny Ahten and the entire Ahten Racing crew will begin their quest to capture the teams first NHRA "Wally" with their first qualifying attempt on Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. The team will also have two more sessions to crack the 16-car field on Friday. Eliminations begin on Saturday afternoon.

-source: johnny ahten PR

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