National: Tony Bartone Pomona Friday report

BARTONE CAPTURES NUMBER ONE QUALIFYING POSITION AT THE 50th Pomona, Calif. -- Vince Lombardi was fond of saying, "Being number one does not happen often, but when it occurs, you must capitalize the opportunity." The inspirational words of the...

BARTONE CAPTURES NUMBER ONE QUALIFYING POSITION AT THE 50th

Pomona, Calif. -- Vince Lombardi was fond of saying, "Being number one does not happen often, but when it occurs, you must capitalize the opportunity."

The inspirational words of the legendary football coach, which have become a source of inspiration of the Rick Jackson Racing Centre Pointe Collision Center / FireIce.com Top Alcohol Funny Car for the past few seasons, came to fruition today in Pomona. The Santa Clarita, Calif. based team captured the number one qualified position heading into final eliminations of the 50th Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals, the first event of the 2010 NHRA season.

The Centre Pointe / FireIce.com TAFC team's initial 5.570 second elapsed time recorded in the first qualifying session yesterday held up after two more qualifying efforts today. 15 of the best Top Alcohol Funny Car teams in the always tough NHRA Division 7 attempted to bump the Jackson Racing team off their top spot but were unsuccessful.

"I'm very proud of the way this car has run so far this weekend," noted 31-time NHRA National Event champion Tony Bartone, who returned to the seat of Jackson's potent Ford Mustang flopper for a second consecutive season. "Stevie (crew chief Boggs) had some good run data from last season which he put in the car for Thursday's initial run and it worked very well. That 5.57 was one of the smoothest passes I've ever had in a car. Today we backed up the first shot with another smooth pass, but missed the set-up by just a taste in the final session this evening. I'm pretty confident we'll be good to go tomorrow for the first round."

Bartone and the Jackson Racing team will begin to defend their Winternationals championship from last season in the first round of eliminations tomorrow at Auto Club Raceway, versus Brian Smith, the number 16 qualified car in the field. Team owner Rick Jackson is very well aware that any car in this tough class could step it up at any time.

"If you qualify in this class, you can beat anyone on any given race day," Jackson said. "Just because our car ran well in qualifying does not mean we can take anyone lightly. We've been doing this for a while and we are going to ensure we cross every 'T' and dot ever 'I' before tomorrow's first round. We are honored to be racing at this prestigious race. We will focus on round one tomorrow and take it one race at a time."

-source: rick jackson racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Bartone , Brian Smith