PRO National Time Trials Results

Ferderer puts Gumout car in winner's circle PHOENIX (Jan. 25) -- Pennzoil drag racing stalwart Mike Ferderer survived an eventful weekend in the high desert to capture the Super Comp title of Sunday's PRO National Time Trials at Firebird ...

Ferderer puts Gumout car in winner's circle

PHOENIX (Jan. 25) -- Pennzoil drag racing stalwart Mike Ferderer survived an eventful weekend in the high desert to capture the Super Comp title of Sunday's PRO National Time Trials at Firebird International Raceway. Ferderer, who drives two cars on the National Hot Rod Association circuit for Team Pennzoil, lasted through six rounds of elimination racing in his Gumout Dragster and took the crown despite an all-night repair session prior to the event.

Ferderer's exhausting but rewarding weekend started in Tucson, Ariz., on Friday when he was testing for the Phoenix race. "I had a run on Friday night that just shook my back teeth out about halfway down the strip," Ferderer said. "But I held on, finished the run and drifted back to my pit before I realized that I had broken nearly everything in the transmission as well as the oil pump. So I headed for Phoenix and started rebuilding the car. After working all night, I was just able to get it back together for Saturday's first run."

The hard work paid off as Ferderer comfortably qualified and survived the first two rounds of Super Comp qualifying, which took place on Saturday. At the same time, the 1998 Car Craft magazine Super Gas Driver of the Year also managed to qualify and race his Pennzoil Super Gas Pontiac into contention in its respective class. "Needless to say, I slept pretty good Saturday night," Ferderer said.

The gremlins reappeared on Sunday when a broken rocker arm stopped Ferderer from racing in the Super Gas semifinal round. But the late-night repairs that the Buckley, Wash., native had made on his Super Comp Dragster held and he managed to reach the final round to face his friend Sheldon Gecker, who, by the way, Ferderer was staying with while in Phoenix.

The two old pros put together the best side-by-side race of the weekend with Ferderer nipping Gecker at the finish line with an elapsed time of 8.972 seconds at 164.27 mph. Gecker's fractionally better 8.964-second pass at 165.61 mph was just under the track's index time of 8.97 seconds, thereby eliminating Gecker and giving Ferderer the win.

"It was quite a weekend but it feels great to win," Ferderer said. "I hope it's just the first of many victories in 1999. With any luck, the prize purse will cover all the parts I had to replace. Right now, I think I'm going to sleep until the (season-opening) Winternationals in Pomona, (Calif., on Feb. 4.)"

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Series NHRA