Beating the Gremlin in Joliet-- Milford, Michigan. The VIPsports.com team viewed the July 14-16 Division 3 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event, at Joliet, Illinois, as both a race and test event. Frank Parker, team owner, loaded up the Dodge ...
Beating the Gremlin in Joliet--
Milford, Michigan. The VIPsports.com team viewed the July 14-16 Division 3 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event, at Joliet, Illinois, as both a race and test event. Frank Parker, team owner, loaded up the Dodge Stratus Top Alcohol Funny Car and headed out three days early, determined to bring the car's performance up to its potential.
"Our dyno testing, over the winter, found some additional power. But we haven't been able to put it all on the ground," commented Parker. "After going through the driveline, and correlating each piece to our data read-outs, I think we cornered the gremlin. Testing before the Joliet race should confirm that." However, Mother Nature took on the role of gremlin, raining out the first test day and delaying the others. The lost test sessions then had to be run as qualifying and race passes.
Even with fewer test sessions than desired, the driveline gremlin appeared to have been banished. Danny Townsend turned a 5.699 lap time, and a speed of 253.52, into the second qualifying spot for the VIPsports.com Stratus. After another tweak to the car, Townsend used a 5.752, 251.11 run to eliminate Bobby Martin's Avenger. In the semi-finals, and with everything seemingly in place, the Dodge Stratus' 5.840 and 251.11 pass lost out to Mick Snyder. The extremely high track temperature -- approaching 136 degrees -- was greater than anticipated and it spoiled the team's chances for a winning round. But, the recorded data showed that Parker's diagnosis was correct and his tune-ups were going in the right direction. "One more lap and we would have nailed it," said Parker.
The VIPsports.com team has a solid hold on second place in Division 3 TAFC points. In national standings, the team is tied for ninth place -- still in the top ten.
The Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event in Madison, Illinois, August 4-6, will be the next race for Parker and his team. Following that, on August 19, the VIPsports.com Dodge Stratus will again be part of DaimlerChrysler's display at the 12th Annual Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise. Look for the display at Woodward Avenue and Thirteen Mile Road. And be sure to listen to The Motor City's WOMC Oldies Radio 104.3 FM for coverage of the cruise and their special activities with the VIPsports.com crew.