Roger Bateman Las Vegas summary

Bateman cracks top ten with runner up finish POMONA, Calif. - On the heels of a late-season rally, Roger Bateman and the NobelSmile.com/Friesen Motorsports NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car team used a runner-up at this past weekend's Automobile Club...

Bateman cracks top ten with runner up finish

POMONA, Calif. - On the heels of a late-season rally, Roger Bateman and the NobelSmile.com/Friesen Motorsports NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car team used a runner-up at this past weekend's Automobile Club of Southern California Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona to break into the national top ten. The runner-up coupled with their divisional win in Las Vegas the week prior placed the team ninth nationally in only their first full year of competition.

Bateman, of Calgary, Alb., qualified the Ken Murray tuned Camaro third in the field with a 5.631 second pass at 255.00 mph. In round one, he defeated Ross Strickler with a 5.720 at 250.92 mph, then defeated Dennis Taylor with a 5.742 at 251.95 mph. In the semifinals, the veteran Bateman used a near-perfect .001 reaction time (.000 is perfect) to take a holeshot victory over Division 7 Champion Doug Gordon with a 5.672 at 255.68 mph to Gordon's quicker-but-later 5.653 at 255.29 mph.

Bateman's final round opponent would be David Ray. Bateman used another psychic .008 reaction time to gain the starting line advantage, but launched into heavy tireshake. The tireshake caused Bateman to get crossed up and lift after crossing the centerline, handing Ray the automatic victory with his 5.699 at 255.68 mph.

"It's a real nice way to end the year," said Team Owner Brian Friesen. "Everybody did a great job this weekend, and for us to finish ninth in the country is a huge honor for us. We hated to end the weekend like we did in the finals, but Roger was going for it, and that's his job to push it. We'll leave here with our heads high and start preparing for 2007."

Bateman added to Friesen's sentiments.

"We've really came together this season as a team, especially these past few races," commented Bateman. "The win in Vegas and the runner-up here were big accomplishments. There are a lot of quality teams out here, so just qualifying is an accomplishment, going rounds is extra. I'm very proud and honored to drive for this team and I look forward to next season."

-credit: fm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Gordon