(Madison, IL) Race number seven of the NHRA Full Throttle season wrapped up today just across the river from St. Louis, MO, and the Rodger Brogdon driven Charter Communications Pro Stock Pontiac continued to show the improvement that the team has...
(Madison, IL) Race number seven of the NHRA Full Throttle season wrapped up today just across the river from St. Louis, MO, and the Rodger Brogdon driven Charter Communications Pro Stock Pontiac continued to show the improvement that the team has been working so hard to produce.
The team rolled into town looking to keep the momentum going coming off their first round win of the year at the last race in Atlanta, and knew that the changes that had been made to the car at the shop since the last race should allow them to keep going in the right direction.
With qualifying for the O'Reilly Midwest Nationals limited to just two runs on Saturday after rain washed out Fridays on track sessions, the team turned in a number ten qualifying effort in the opening session then slowed in their final attempt when a valve spring broke midway through their final run. When qualifying concluded Brogdon ended up in the number thirteen qualifying slot, matching their Atlanta effort and lining them up against former world champ Greg Anderson for round number one.
With all of the higher qualified cars choosing the left lane, Brogdon knew that he would be in the lane that produced his best qualifying effort but that against the former champ it would take a very good run to get past Anderson in the opening round. After watching every other car that went down the right lane lose two to four hundredths from their prior run in the right lane, Brogdon laid down a 6.625 at 209.30 mph, bettering his earlier elapsed time and speed, but still came up short against Anderson's 6.584 at 210.05 mph.
"Sure, it would have been nice to take out Greg in round one," Brogdon said, "but how can I be disappointed when this car and team just continue to improve? We picked up when everyone else slowed down in the right lane, and we ran step-for-step with Anderson from half track on. Tommy (Utt), Dr. Phil, Weasel, Eckman and Jay Allen continue to refine the car, and we know that our Cagnazzi engine has got the steam by the speed we're running. This is only our fifth race running this combination, look at how long some of the other teams have been running theirs. We are so close right now, I just wish Bristol was next week, I want to keep this momentum going."
The next stop on the NHRA Full Throttle 2009 race schedule will be that race in Bristol, Tennessee, May 15-17 for the running of the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. For team owner Steve Kent, Rodger Brogdon, and the rest of the crew, that race just can't get here soon enough.