O'Bannon bounces back for semifinal finish in Sonoma SONOMA, Calif. - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car rookie Sean O'Bannon bounced back from a DNQ in Seattle last weekend to post career best numbers during this past weekend's Fram-Autolite Nationals...
O'Bannon bounces back for semifinal finish in Sonoma
SONOMA, Calif. - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car rookie Sean O'Bannon bounced back from a DNQ in Seattle last weekend to post career best numbers during this past weekend's Fram-Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. O'Bannon and the Tequila Patron/Forest River RV's team was locked in the 5.60 zone during eliminations until parts failure slowed the Jack O'Bannon Racing Dodge Charger in the semifinals.
O'Bannon,28, from Fontana, Calif., qualified the Sam Shockley tuned machine eighth in the field with a then career best 5.635 second run at 253.99 mph. In round one, he took out Jeff Carroll with a 5.661 at 256.60 mph, then defeated Mark Woznichak in round two with another career best, a 5.633 at 257.38 mph. In his semifinal bout with Jason Rupert, O'Bannon held the early lead, but slowed when valvetrain parts failure eventually caused him to slow to a 6.130 at 185.10 mph to Rupert's 5.671 at 255.53 mph.
"We would have liked to have had a shot in the final, but we're real happy with the weekend," said O'Bannon. "The car is really coming around. We were hoping to run a high .50 in the semifinal against Rupert, but it dropped a cylinder at 1.4 seconds into the run and that was the end of that. The car is starting to run good mph, which is a good sign. We're starting to get this Tequila Patron/Forest River RV's Dodge Charger to the competitive level it needs to be. Sam, Randy [Anderson] and the crew are constantly working to make this car better."
The Western Swing continues for the Tequila Patron/Forest River RV's team as they extend their stay at Infineon Raceway for this weekend's Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event there.
"That will be a very tough race," commented O'Bannon. "Nearly all of the cars that were here this weekend will be there next weekend. I fully expect to see the quickest field ever. The air is supposed to be better, and I was No. 8 with a 5.63, so we could see a low .60 bump, or even a .50 bump. It's going to be a slugfest, but we're looking forward to it."