CORDOVA, IL. - Sometimes chatting with a higher up can do wonders. Troy Critchley's midweek conversation with NHRA Top Fuel driver Gary Scelzi seemed to have helped his reaction times, but the legendary Ironhorse 1949 Mercury came up short by a...
CORDOVA, IL. - Sometimes chatting with a higher up can do wonders. Troy Critchley's midweek conversation with NHRA Top Fuel driver Gary Scelzi seemed to have helped his reaction times, but the legendary Ironhorse 1949 Mercury came up short by a nose at the finish line during the IHRA Amalie Oil Nationals,
Earlier in the season the USA Racing team had been fighting many gremlins, the least of which had been Critchley's reaction times. But an unexpected phone call from Scelzi helped the Aussie driver get his game face on for the Summer Nationals. The only thing Scelzi didn't explain is how to combat a pesky ignition problem.
Two weeks after going to the final round, the legendary supercharged machine fell in the quarter-finals, victim of Billy Harper's radical Viper.
During Critchley's first qualifying attempt both he and fellow qualifier Carl Spiering got out of shape and were awarded re-runs. The runs were later thrown out. Critchley's original 6.949/148.40 landed him in the 18th spot.
On the team's second pass, the Rocca tuned Ironhorse hit it's stride with a phenomenal 6.336/222.50 pass landing them in the number one spot after two rounds of qualifying. On the team's final attempt they were unable to better the previous 6.33, but did show consistency with a run of 6.370/223.88. At the end of qualifying
Critchley was placed in the number two spot, facing him against the number 15 car of upstart rookie Alan Pittman.
The former Aussie champion took the first round win over Pittman with a 6.308/225.63 to a trailing 6.331/217.77.
The first round win paired the Ironhorse against a Viper, that of Billy Harper. Critchley left on Harper but was unable to hold off the hard charging Viper after experiencing a multitude of ignition problems. Harper took the win by the narrowest of margins, 0.001 seconds. Harper ran a 6.412/214.08 to Critchley's 6.438/224.36. The Rocca-owned team will continue their quest for their first national event win in the Pro Mod ranks at the upcoming CARQUEST Empire Nationals in Leicester, New York this July 14-16.
For more info On Johnny Rocca's USA Racing team look to www.usaracing.com.