Lee scores semifinal finish in Edmonton EDMONTON, Alb. - IHRA Torco Pro Nitro Funny Car driver Paul Lee and the Rislone Engine Treatment/J&B Motorsports team scored a semifinal finish during this past weekend's CARS RV, Marine & Motorsports...
Lee scores semifinal finish in Edmonton
EDMONTON, Alb. - IHRA Torco Pro Nitro Funny Car driver Paul Lee and the Rislone Engine Treatment/J&B Motorsports team scored a semifinal finish during this past weekend's CARS RV, Marine & Motorsports Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Torco Race Fuels at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alb. The weekend marked the debut of an updated chassis and lighter Chevy Monte Carlo body.
Lee, from Bala Cynwyd, Pa., qualified Jeff and Bonnie McGaffic's Rislone sponsored entry third in the field with a 5.049 second pass at 294.88 mph. In round one Lee earned his stripes as a driver, defeating recent Tulsa runner-up Andy Kelley on a holeshot, taking a .063 to .135 reaction time advantage and held on to win with a 5.314 at 278.06 mph to Kelley's quicker-but-later 5.252 at 282.20 mph. Lee's margin of victory was a mere ten-thousandths of a second.
The win came at a cost, as several pistons were hurt during the run. While piston damage is not all that uncommon in the nitro ranks, debris from the pistons lodged themselves in the intake manifold. The debris remained for the next run, causing immediate engine damage when the team started the car for their semifinal match up with defending IHRA World Champion Dale Creasy, Jr. The team was forced to shut off and watch Creasy move to the finals with a 5.036 at 294.95 mph.
"The car ran well this weekend," said Team Owner McGaffic. "The car went back to doing what we wanted it to do. In round one we scuffed some pistons and hurt some parts. Some debris from those pistons apparently found their way to the intake manifold. We fixed everything on the motor, but there must have still been some debris in the intake. When I fired the car up and started trimming the fuel back, I noticed number eight cylinder go out. Then two went out, and more cylinders kept going out just sitting there idling. I shut the car off, knowing something was wrong. Apparently that debris was bouncing around the cylinders closing up the spark plugs. It was just a freak deal, but all you can do is learn from it and move on. We were happy to get the car going back in the right direction and make a good showing for Rislone, Zephyr Cleaners and Polishes, Jet - Wilton Metalworking and Material Handling and Smart Washer Bioremediating Parts Washers."
"The car worked well and went faster each round," added Lee. "The only problem we had all weekend was hurting the motor in the first round. I could tell the motor wasn't happy, but I didn't see him, so I didn't lift and we ended up winning a close race. The weather was nice all weekend and they had a great crowd, so it was a fun race. Hopefully we can keep moving in the direction we did this weekend."
The next race for the Rislone Engine Treatment/J&B Motorsports team is right around the corner as the IHRA Knoll Gas Motorsports Nitro Jam heads to Grand Bend, Ont., for the Mopar Canadian Nationals presented by Castrol, Jul. 20-22.