Lost Qualifying Session Lost Weekend for Jeff Diehl Rain washes away final qualifying session in Maryland with Diehl on wrong side of the bump spot Mechanicsville, Md. (June 15, 2008) -- With significant crew turnover and Tony Shortall on...
Lost Qualifying Session Lost Weekend for Jeff Diehl
Rain washes away final qualifying session in Maryland with Diehl on wrong side of the bump spot
Mechanicsville, Md. (June 15, 2008) -- With significant crew turnover and Tony Shortall on board to help turn things around, Jeff Diehl came to Maryland International Raceway, the scene of his only career national event victory, with high hopes. Those hopes were dashed when the rains came Saturday evening.
After two qualifying passes and sitting on #10 on the qualifying sheet, Diehl's race team was helpless to improve its qualifying standing as a significant storm front rolled into Budds Creek, depositing enough water on the race track that IHRA was forced to cancel the final Saturday qualifying session and freeze the eight-car Nitro Funny Car field.
"It's unfortunate because we really found a lot of things wrong on the car and made a ton of changes for the weekend," Diehl said. "Tony went through the car from front to back and we were still working some things out Saturday afternoon for what ended up being the last qualifying session. We were banking on that Saturday night session and got burned when the storm popped up."
Despite not being able to race on Sunday, Diehl is thrilled with his prospects for the rest of the 2008 racing season.
"Tony found so many things on the car that needed corrected so we have a lot of work to do to get ready for Edmonton," he said. "Our goal is to be a consistent, strong car on the IHRA tour and I know we're finally headed in that direction. Tony is amazing and the new crew guys we brought in are all about business. Though we didn't qualify I really think this team turned a corner this weekend."
Diehl drove his 2007 Monte Carlo to a 5.972 ET to end up two spots out of the final eliminations field. In Edmonton at the Rocky Mountain Nationals he will be looking to secure his first round win of the season.
"We haven't even begun to scratch the surface of what this car can do," Diehl, who's best pass of the season this far was a 5.019 at 292.27 in Rockingham, said. "Tony has us headed in the right direction. The next race can't get here soon enough for me."