CARPENTER STARTS THE 2005 IHRA SEASON SAN ANTONIO, Texas (April 3, 2005) - Charles Carpenter, owner/driver of the Embee Performance "World's Fastest "55 Chevy" Pro Modified, found mixed results at the Amalie Oil Texas Nationals at San ...
CARPENTER STARTS THE 2005 IHRA SEASON
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (April 3, 2005) - Charles Carpenter, owner/driver of the Embee Performance "World's Fastest "55 Chevy" Pro Modified, found mixed results at the Amalie Oil Texas Nationals at San Antonio (Texas) Raceway, the first stop of the 2005 Hooters IHRA season.
Carpenter came to town tested, rested, and ready to race, but unfortunately his weekend did not quite go according to plan.
Carpenter qualified 14th in the 16-car field in his legendary nitrous-powered Chevrolet with a best pass of 6.728-seconds at 217.46 mph. First round eliminations found him paired with Shannon Jenkins, a three-time series champion.
"We had a split weekend," Carpenter said. "On the one-hand, we qualified for the season-opener, which is always a good feeling. However, we were disappointed not to make it past the first round," Carpenter said. His day ended with a losing 9.237-second ET due to tire shake.
This event featured two changes in IHRA format from previous years: just three qualifying rounds and a compressed event schedule of just two days. This means that the last qualifying round and all elimination rounds are run on the same day.
Due to severe wind conditions, the first round of qualifying was cancelled. Now with only two attempts available, all the teams found it necessary to revise their qualifying strategy.
"Having only three qualifying rounds is still something to get used to," Carpenter explained. "The Pro Mod class is so competitive that you cannot afford to make any mistakes on the set-up. With just two attempts available, the pressure becomes that much greater.
"The other hurdle we faced was that our first time out on the track was at night. Obviously, conditions for Friday night were not anywhere near what we faced for Saturday's qualifying pass. I guess there was more track there than we gave it credit for. Looking back, I think we could have improved our position if we had gone down the track that third time."
"Texas is always fun for us because some of our sponsors are able to make it to the event," Carpenter said. "We had David (Dahlberg) in from Embee Performance and Buddy (Johnson, of Buddy's Automotive Concepts) always makes the drive down from Bryan (Texas). Also, some good friends from Arkansas decided to come out for the weekend so that was a nice surprise as I don't see them too often."
Carpenter is looking forward to the April 22 -- 24 Spring Nationals at "The Rock" (Rockingham [N.C.] Dragway), the next stop on the IHRA tour, as it is considered his home track.
"We have a little bit of work to do before Rockingham, but we are close - very close - to finding a true 'go fast' combination," Carpenter proclaimed.