Buddy Perkinson Joliet Final Report

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Route 66 Raceway

Perkinson Gets Past Chicago, Will Not Compete In Denver Event

The 14th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals this past weekend marked the halfway point of the 2011 Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season.

Buddy Perkinson
Buddy Perkinson

Photo by: Ted Rossino

Buddy Perkinson grew up racing junior dragsters at the age of nine and eventually moved on to Comp Eliminator, but as a new driver in Pro Stock, Perkinson was not afraid to admit he had never competed at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill.

The 19-year-old rookie driver from Prince George, Va. did all he could to push the Ford Mustang into the top 16 cars of the weekend, but track conditions, hot weather and engine issues prevented him from doing so.

The Route 66 NHRA Nationals provided drivers with the luxury of evening qualifying sessions at 4:00PM and 7:00PM both Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, Perkinson ran a 6.741 ET (elapsed time) at 206.29 mph, which by the end of the session had him sitting in the 19th position. Perkinson improved during the later night session with a 6.689 ET at 206.70 mph, but not enough to get in the top 12 cars of the day.

The Cunningham team made a good pass for the third qualifying hit of the weekend, taking into account the brutal heat Saturday brought. The team posted a 6.743 ET at 206.26 mph. The pass brought Perkinson up to the no. 13 spot, but as the session continued, he was bumped down to 20th. The fourth and final run brought Cunningham Motorsports a 6.683 ET at 206.32 mph. Even though the team had continuously improved their numbers all weekend, a first round win for Perkinson on Sunday was ruled out.

“I definitely know that the heat didn’t help us this weekend. Last year, Chicago was a good month earlier than this year and that data was what we would have liked to use as an extra boost to our set-ups. Cooler weather would have brought us better results, but what can you do about that?” Perkinson said with a smile on his face.

“Hopefully the guys can get everything fixed up between now and our next race and we’ll be ready the next chance we get,” he added. The Cunningham Motorsports team made the decision yesterday to not attend the Mopar Mile-High Nationals in Denver, Colo. next week.

By: cunningham motorsports

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Series NHRA
Tags chicago, cunningham motorsports, joliet, nhra, perkinson, pro stock, route 66 raceway

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