Gateway: Randy Fleming preview

MADISON, Ill. - Just one week after competing in the NHRA Sportsman All-Stars event in Columbus, Ohio, NHRA Federal Mogul Funny Car driver Randy Fleming and team will come back to their home state of Missouri for this weekend's Sears Craftsman ...

MADISON, Ill. - Just one week after competing in the NHRA Sportsman All-Stars event in Columbus, Ohio, NHRA Federal Mogul Funny Car driver Randy Fleming and team will come back to their home state of Missouri for this weekend's Sears Craftsman Nationals to be held at Gateway International Raceway just outside of St. Louis. Fleming hopes to make a strong showing not only for his hometown fans, but also for new major associate sponsor, InsideFMRacing.com

Fleming, who runs his automotive repair shop in Independence, Mo., fought hot air and track conditions last weekend in Columbus. With very similar conditions expected this weekend, and the assistance of veteran tuner Tom Conway, Fleming hopes to move improve on his 5.9 second elapsed times last weekend.

"We're just going to try to continue to improve on the changes we made last weekend in Columbus," said Fleming. "The more runs we make in these hot conditions, the better the car should respond to changes."

The fact that many friends and family will be in attendance will also help motivate Fleming this weekend as well.

"We should have a lot of local fans and fellow racers out there," commented Fleming. "That really helps drive us. We always try to win, but more so at a close national event. It puts a bit more pressure on us, but we can handle it."

Fleming is one of the few racers in the class still running the Whipple supercharger. Many racers have stated that the Whipple is at a disadvantage to the PSI that most of the top teams this year have run, especially with the 'dog days' of summer upon us. Fleming feels that his supposed 'disadvantage' may be overrated.

"We feel that the PSI probably does have somewhat of an advantage on the hot days," stated Fleming. "But when you compare boost at the higher rpms, the boost is just the same with the Whipple. The PSI makes better boost at lower rpm than our blower does. With that in mind, we feel we can tune around our disadvantage and still run respectable numbers."

In addition to the action on the track, Fleming inked a deal with www.InsideFMRacing.com, a new Internet news site featuring coverage of the Federal Mogul categories. Fleming is excited about the new deal, as well as IFMR's creator/editor Will Hanna.

"I think they have a good program going," Fleming stated. "Everyone on the net is looking for something focus on what's new, what's hot, and who's hot in Federal Mogul racing. We're pleased to bring them on board."

"Randy and his team are a class act," added IFMR's Hanna. "After analyzing our options, we focused in on his team because we knew that they would do a good job of getting our name out there, and that's the name of the game when it comes to sponsoring a team. We look forward to a healthy relationship with Fleming Motorsports."

Qualifying begins on Friday at noon for the Federal Mogul Funny Cars, with one more session following at 4 p.m. Stay tuned to SummitRacing.com's Drag Race Central for round by round updates of the action from St. Louis.

-RFR

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Series Automotive , NHRA