PAC: Jackson Racing Las Vegas preview

Jackson Racing Entering Home Stretch Las Vegas, Nev. -- The Rick Jackson Racing Top Alcohol Funny Car knows a strong finish at the final two races of the season will build momentum for a strong 2010 campaign. They can begin the stretch run by...

Jackson Racing Entering Home Stretch

Las Vegas, Nev. -- The Rick Jackson Racing Top Alcohol Funny Car knows a strong finish at the final two races of the season will build momentum for a strong 2010 campaign. They can begin the stretch run by producing quality results this weekend as "The Strip" at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will host the final Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event of the 2009 NHRA season. Simply qualifying for the tough eight-car field will be a daunting task as over 20 of the best Alky Floppers in the nation plan to compete in this weekend's race.

"The final D-7 race of the year always brings out the best of the best," noted Tony Bartone, the 29-time NHRA National Event winning driver of Rick Jackson's potent Ford Mustang Funny Car. "I have done well here with (crew chief Steve) Boggs in the past but if you win this race, you truly earn the victory. We know all the top dogs will be unleashed this weekend."

The Centre Pointe Collision Centers / FireIce^Ù sponsored team enters this weekend's race after a second round finish at last week's Las Vegas Nationals. In the first round, the Steve Boggs tuned Funny Car was a bit aggressive with the clutch set up and instantly smoked the tires as the car launched from the starting line. It was a blessing in disguise as their opponent Thomas Carter from Cuero, Texas triggered the red light and handed the Santa Clarita, Calif. based team a round win.

During the second round, Bartone matched up against the event's number one qualifier Johnny Lombardo Jr., Brea, Calif. Both cars left the starting line nearly glued together as their reaction times were separated by only 0.003 seconds. The two cars were literally side-by-side all the way down the quick quarter mile and Lombardo beat Bartone to the stripe by less than an inch. The true margin of victory was 0.0001 seconds. "This is a game of inches and milliseconds," noted team owner Rick Jackson. "And unfortunately we were on the short end of this particular stick. The boys on the team have worked hard all season and our car is running well. I hope we can put it all together for a good showing this weekend at the LODRS event."

The Rick Jackson Racing team will receive three attempts to qualify for the very difficult eight car field. Their first qualifying session will begin on Friday at 4 p.m. Two more sessions will occur on Saturday at noon and 2 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled to begin on Sunday.

-credit: rjr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Bartone