Charles Carpenter Rockingham preview

CARPENTER PREPARED FOR "AGGRESSIVE" RUNS ON HOME TRACK ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (April 19, 2005) -- Charles Carpenter, owner/driver of the Embee Performance "World's Fastest '55 Chevy," heads to the IHRA Spring Nationals at Rockingham (N.C.) Dragway ...

CARPENTER PREPARED FOR "AGGRESSIVE" RUNS ON HOME TRACK

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (April 19, 2005) -- Charles Carpenter, owner/driver of the Embee Performance "World's Fastest '55 Chevy," heads to the IHRA Spring Nationals at Rockingham (N.C.) Dragway confident with his progress so far this young season.

The Pro Modifieds are always one of the fan's favorite professional classes and Rockingham Dragway traditionally boasts some of the largest turn-outs ever for the nitrous vs. blower class.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based Carpenter heads to his "home track" fresh off a performance in the season-opening race in San Antonio, Texas that saw him qualify 14th but get eliminated in the first round. However, in his mind, what he achieved with his car's setup was almost as important as his performance on the track.

"We have been chasing our tire combination for about three months now and I think that we are close to finding it," Carpenter said. "We've made some real strides in testing during the off-season and I think it is starting to pay off now in competition.

"This is our 'home track' (Rockingham Dragway) and it is always great to race here. We have so many fans that come out to support us -- some we see year-after-year. It's always a kick to see so many Charles Carpenter t-shirts walking around the pits. Some are from so many years ago that they should be put in a museum instead of being worn to the racetrack," Carpenter joked.

Carpenter's career-best elapsed time of 6.273-seconds, and his fastest speed of 224.81 mph, were both recorded at Rockingham Dragway. Given the competition in the Pro Mod class today, he fully expects that he will need to push the limit once again this weekend, a test of both man and his machine -- in his case a nitrous-enhanced 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air.

"The volatility of the tune-ups needed to be competitive in Pro Mod can be very hard on parts," Carpenter explained. "But with the Embee Performance coatings we are running, we have been able to extend the longevity of our parts, which, of course, is a good thing. This allows us to focus more on qualifying better and winning races and less on whether the tune-up is going to hurt us by breaking parts.

"By being able to be more aggressive on the set-up I expect to improve on my best times at 'The Rock' this weekend," Carpenter predicted of the event which runs from April 22-24.

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