POMONA, Calif. - Most people consider drag racing, the world's fastest motorsport, to be a dangerous sport. The speed and raw power of the machines that frequent the National Hot Rod Association's 24 race schedule could certainly lead someone to believing that misconception. However, most consider the danger to exist on the track, rather than the pit. Rookie NHRA Federal Mogul Dragster driver Erica Walsh-Credeur was sidelined in a freak pit accident during the O'Reilly Nationals in Houston in March, but is making her return to competition during this weekend's Pep Boy's 50th Anniversary Nationals presented by American Racing in Pomona, Calif.
Walsh-Credeur, from Lafayette, La., virtually grew up at the racetrack, and is naturally excited to make her return during NHRA's 50th Anniversary celebration. Her father, Ron Walsh, competed in Top Alcohol Funny Car (now called Federal Mogul Funny Car) during the 80's, and has been a member of the NHRA for over 30 years. With her injury behind her, and strong support from her family and team, Walsh-Credeur is ready to start making her own history in the sport of drag racing this weekend.
The Federal Mogul Dragsters completed one round of qualifying today. Unfortunately for the Walsh Motorsports/Black Max team, the proverbial 'new car bugs' kept the team from achieving their maximum potential during today's first session. A broken rear end caused her Blown Alcohol Dragster to slow to a 6.225 second elapsed time at 225.45 mph, which currently places her 11th in the 16 car field. Defending four time World Champion Rick Santos paced the field with a 5.505 at 258.32 mph.
"I am getting comfortable with the car again," said Walsh-Credeur. "The car had a pretty hard launch. It had a 60' time that we were pleased with, had a little bit of shake, and I shifted through it. We feel it was a pretty solid pass for our first pass back. Unfortunately, the rear end housing broke at around the 1000' mark and kept us from making a full run."
Walsh-Credeur and her team are happy to be in the show, but are not content. The team plans to step up their performance for tomorrow's two final qualifying sessions.
"Right now we are qualified No. 11," stated Walsh-Credeur. "You can't really go by the first qualifying pass. Everyone usually steps up, and we would like to move up a little bit in the field. We want to at least be solid in the field by day's end tomorrow."
The Federal Mogul Dragsters are scheduled to run at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. tomorrow. Stay tuned to InsideFMRacing.com for the latest news from the world of Federal Mogul Racing.