NC: Tony Bartone final summary

Bartone Shakes Away Opportunity in Columbus Hebron, Ohio- Heading into the NHRA Division 3 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event held this past weekend at National Trail Raceway located in Hebron, Ohio, the Rick Jackson Racing team and driver Tony...

Bartone Shakes Away Opportunity in Columbus

Hebron, Ohio- Heading into the NHRA Division 3 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event held this past weekend at National Trail Raceway located in Hebron, Ohio, the Rick Jackson Racing team and driver Tony Bartone, were cautiously optimistic their Ford Mustang Top Alcohol Funny Car would capture the event win.

Apparently the temperamental Blown Alcohol Funny Car did not get the message, as severe tire-shake in the semi-finals ended the day for the Santa Clarita, Calif. based team.

Bartone, who hails from Boca Raton, Fla., placed the Centre Pointe Collision Center sponsored Flopper in the second qualifying position after recording a solid 5.721-second elapsed time in the first session on Friday. After constant rain showers blanketed the Columbus area all day Saturday, the TAFC contingent was given one more crack at qualifying on a very tricky race-track Sunday morning prior to eliminations. The end result was a tire-shaking lackluster 13.57-second ET for the Jackson Racing team.

This set up a round one pairing with the number seven qualifier, Terry Munrow from Beaver, Pa. In the opening frame, Bartone's 5.781-second ET was good enough to hold off Munrow's slowing 11.677-second run. The round one victory advanced the Jackson Racing team to the semi-finals of the event. However team owner Rick Jackson was concerned the track would provide his team with a challenging tune-up for the semi-finals.

"After the rain on Saturday, the starting-line was in pretty good shape, but about the 200 foot mark there was hardly any 'bite'," stated Jackson. "This part of the track is crucial for our cars as this is where the clutch begins to engage more aggressively applying the 3,000 plus horsepower to the ground."

Jackson's prophetic concerns unfortunately came to fruition during their semi-final match-up with Racine, Wis.'s Andy Bohl. The Jackson Racing Funny Car launched hard and seemed to be making up ground on Bohl, who held a slight reaction-time advantage. About 200 feet into the run, Bartone's mount began to shake violently causing him to lift his foot off the throttle to gain control of the bucking Mustang. Bartone did a masterful job placing the car back into the racing groove; however his 6.148-second ET was not good enough to catch Bohl's stout 5.741-second blast.

"Well, that's drag racing," noted Jackson from his office at Centre Pointe Collision Center in Santa Clarita. "I can't put the blame on the race track as every car out there had to deal with it. We just simply missed on the tune-up and it cost us. This team is very resourceful and we will learn from our mistakes."

-credit: rjr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Bartone