Roger Bateman Las Vegas summary

Bateman hits the jackpot with Vegas win LAS VEGAS - Roger Bateman and the NobelSmile.com/Friesen Motorsports NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car team hit the drag racing version of a mega jackpot in winning this past weekend's Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag...

Bateman hits the jackpot with Vegas win

LAS VEGAS - Roger Bateman and the NobelSmile.com/Friesen Motorsports NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car team hit the drag racing version of a mega jackpot in winning this past weekend's Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series closer at "The Strip" at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Bateman and the team overcame adversity along the way to take the win in what was the quickest field in Top Alcohol Funny Car history.

Bateman, from Calgary, Alb., qualified the Ken Murray tuned Camaro fourth with a 5.676 second pass at 252.43 mph. The Top Alcohol Funny Car field featured 26 of the top cars in the country battling for the top eight spots. The bump was a record 5.710, making the race the quickest field in Lucas Oil Divisional history.

In round one, Bateman defeated last year's No. 4 man in the country, Jay Payne with a 5.738 at 250.60 mph, then in the semifinals, Bateman took out No. 1 qualifier Steve Harker with a 5.692 at 250.23 mph. However, the engine suffered a rod failure just when he stepped off the throttle, forcing the team to thrash just to make the final round. With help from the Hank Coolidge and Joey Severance teams, the NobelSmile.com team was able to make the final.

Bateman's final round opponent would be No. 3 qualifier Clint Thompson. Bateman took the jump off the line and never looked back, winning with a 5.828 at 249.35 mph to Thompson's tireshake-plauged 8.59.

"This weekend was a lot of fun," said Bateman. "The hardest part of the weekend was just making the field. Anyone who was in that field could win. Every race was close until the final. You have to run good, but it never hurts to have a little bit of luck on your side. This field was so tough everyone should have got a shirt that said 'I qualified at Vegas.' It was a real honor to win this race."

"I'm very pleased with the weekend," Team Owner Brian Friesen added. "We would have liked to run better in the final, but it worked out. It was a pretty big thrash just to make the final, which is a real testament to the team. We are also very grateful to the Hank Coolidge and Joey Severance teams. They came and helped us make the final. We have worked hard to get to this point, and we're very happy to come away with our first win in a tough field like this weekend."

From Vegas, the team will head to Southern California for this weekend's AAA Auto Club Finals in Pomona after making a stop at Nobel Biocare's main office in nearby Yorba Linda, Calif.

"We've taken a multi-pronged approach to building a championship caliber team," Friesen stated. "We're trying to build a quality team and develop marketing partners. Nobel Biocare has been very pleasant to work with and we look forward to doing a display at their main office in Yorba Linda. Being in the dental field myself, it prides me to be associated with a company that I believe in."

Qualifying begins on Thursday for the alcohol cars and will conclude on Friday. Eliminations begin on Saturday with round one and will conclude on Sunday.

-credit: fm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Steve Harker