Will Hanna Valdosta wrap up

Hanna gains license in Valdosta VALDOSTA, Ga. - Rookie NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car pilot Will Hanna gained his license and debuted Harry Clack's Advanced Transmission Center Dodge Avenger in competition at this past weekend's Division 2 Lucas Oil...

Hanna gains license in Valdosta

VALDOSTA, Ga. - Rookie NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car pilot Will Hanna gained his license and debuted Harry Clack's Advanced Transmission Center Dodge Avenger in competition at this past weekend's Division 2 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Southern Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta, Ga.

Hanna, who runs his alcohol racing news website InsideTopAlcohol.com out of Richwood, Texas, when not racing, completed his license upgrade by posting a speed of 215 mph on a test run before the event.

"It went out and shook the tires pretty good again," said Hanna. "It got over close to the wall. I pedaled it once and it started moving around on me. I let it settle down, and once I got it back pointed at the finish line, I got back in it. It really laid it's ears back, because it was only going around 165 mph to the 1/8."

With a license in hand, Hanna was able to enter the event, but once again, the ATC Racing Team and Division 2 had to deal with persistent rain showers. Instead of getting the allotted two qualifying sessions, qualifying was cut short to one session Saturday afternoon. Hanna went up in smoke instantly, placing him sixth in the field and pairing him with No. 1 qualifier Jay Payne.

Hanna gained a huge starting line advantage, posting a .026 reaction time to Payne's .138, and extended that lead to the 60' clocks, but was forced to shut off when the car made a hard move towards the centerline while Payne went on to run a low elapsed time of the event at a 5.767 at 248.52 mph.

"We had a better weekend than the box score indicates," Hanna explained. "This team is really coming together. I'm somewhat disappointed we couldn't get down the track in the first round because it was on a hell of a run. We learned a lot on the tune-up, and I'm learning more and more every time as a driver. We made progress in all areas, so we're heading in the right direction. I really have to thank Lee Callaway and Jay Payne for offering us a few small parts and tools we needed. Veteran Nitro Funny Car pilot Cory Lee also has been giving me some pointers on driving a Funny Car, which has been a big help."

Team owner Clack plans to keep the team on national event surfaces for the remainder of the season. The team's next outing will be at the Ultimate Chevy Challenge at Houston Raceway Park, Sept. 17-18, where they will debut their new 2005 Monte Carlo body. From there, the team will make their national event debut at the O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas.

"The team performed well this weekend," stated Clack. "The facility was top notch and so was the racing surface. We plan to stay on national event quality tracks for the remainder of this year to learn on. We'll hit Dallas, and depending on our progress, we might hit Chicago the week following. We haven't ruled out a Vegas-Pomona swing to close out the year. We're just taking it one race at a time and try to represent our sponsors Advanced Transmission Center, Valvoline and InsideTopAlcohol.com the best we can."

-thrill-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cory Lee , Jay Payne