MOHNTON, Penn. (September 13, 2003) -- With one qualifying session completed, rain has forced postponement of a NHRA national event for the second consecutive race. The 19th annual Lucas Oil Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway scheduled for this ...
MOHNTON, Penn. (September 13, 2003) -- With one qualifying session completed, rain has forced postponement of a NHRA national event for the second consecutive race. The 19th annual Lucas Oil Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway scheduled for this weekend will resume Oct. 3-5.
One round of professional qualifying was completed Friday and those runs will count towards the rescheduled event. In Friday's single qualifying session for Top Fuel, David Baca, driver of the Henkelman & Baca Motorsports/American Racing/Waterloo Tool Storage/Skill Clean dragster covered the Maple Grove Raceway quarter-mile track in 4.609 seconds at a speed of 311.99 mph.
"Maple Grove Raceway has historically been a fast track," said Baca, from Brentwood, Calif. "We were conservative with our set up on Friday night and just wanted to get from point A to point B. After the all day rain, we didn't know what the track would hold. When we come back, we'll turn up the wick and go after it again."
Qualifying will continue on Saturday, Oct. 4 with two professional qualifying sessions and final eliminations will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 5.
"The professional and alcohol cars one got in one run and it would be unfair to those teams in the points chase trying to compete for a championship to race tomorrow (Sunday)," said Graham Light, senior vice president of racing operations for NHRA. "With the volume of activity we have to complete, it would be almost impossible to fit it into one day. The forecast also looks unfavorable with rain off and on tomorrow."
"We'll go to Memphis next weekend and Chicago after that and hope the weather will cooperate to give a fair shot to the race teams in early October when we come back to Reading."
With the delay of this event and the recently completed Mac Tools U.S. Nationals and events already on the 2003 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule, professional racers will have competed for seven straight weeks before getting a break after the Oct. 9-12 O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Dallas.
The Henkelman & Baca Motorsports team now heads directly to Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park for the 16th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals presented by Pennzoil next weekend, September 18-21.