SM: Rick Jackson Racing 2011 season preview

BARTONE AND JACKSON RACING ANXIOUS FOR 2011 NHRA SEASON

Santa Clarita, Calif. - The 2010 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series could best be described as a tale of two seasons for the Rick Jackson Racing Centre Pointe Collision Center sponsored Ford Mustang Top Alcohol Funny Car team.

At the conclusion of the 2010 season in the highly competitive NHRA TAFC division, there was only one team who could claim to be the quickest and fastest TAFC in the world. The Santa Clarita, Calif. based Centre Pointe Collision Center Ford Mustang of Rick Jackson Racing, driven by Tony Bartone holds this distinction after recording a stellar 5.449 second, 266.00 mile per hour blast at the season ending Auto Club NHRA World Finals. However, after a plethora of number one qualifying positions, an NHRA Division 4 Championship and a fourth-place finish in the National point standings, the Jackson Racing team is anxious to improve and battle for the NHRA TAFC World Championship in 2011.

To kick off the 2010 campaign, the Centre Pointe / Fireice.com Ford Mustang raced to a number one qualified spot, recording a 5.570 second elapsed time in their first qualifying pass at the season opening NHRA Winternationals. In what would be a recurring theme during the 2010 season, the team exited the hollowed Pomona Raceway without the coveted 'Wally'. The team would repeat this effort with pole positions at both Pomona events and the historic US Nationals, where the team recorded their first sub-5.50 elapsed time. For the first time in several years, Jackson Racing would not capture a single National Event title.

On the Divisional level, Bartone and the Centre Pointe team captured wire-to-wire event titles in Dallas and Houston, Texas and Belle Rose, LA in route to winning the NHRA Division 4 TAFC Championship. Looking back at the 2010 season, team owner Rick Jackson is cautiously optimistic his Centre Pointe Mustang will continue to improve this year.

"It was definitely a tale of two seasons for us in 2010," noted Jackson. "On one hand we did not fair too well on the National Event level in eliminations, but we show consistency and solid performance on the Divisional level. In 2009, the roles were reversed for us. The key for this season is to build on the late-season performance we showed and try to establish a bit more consistency on the National Event level while steadily improving our Divisional record as well. Our guys are the best in the business and we always expect the best results for our team. We also know the competition will be very tough this upcoming year. We are very fortunate to have the support of several outstanding fans and marketing partners, and we'll do our best for them this season."

The Rick Jackson Racing Top Alcohol Funny Car team will return to action with 31-time NHRA National Event champion Tony Bartone behind the wheel, during the season opening Kragen/O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals in mid-February.

-source: rick jackson racing

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